I’ve been frustrated lately, I think mostly because of the hip which hurts at times and limits me. Finding a doc is not much fun, either, since I don’t even WANT to look. It’s made me lose some of my enchantment with the remote valley in which I live. In my current state of mind, which is prickly, it’s been easier than usual to be dissatisfied and not find the usual compensations and benefits that surround me and which, in a normal state of mind, I love.
I’ve been annoyed that I can’t find things at the store I’d like to find. I’m kind of a cheese snob. Not a major cheese snob, but a cheese snob nonetheless. Last week I was at the semi-local grocery store. I wanted to make a quiche Lorraine, but I couldn’t find Gruyere. There was none in the store. I wandered around the deli area and a store employee came up to see if he could help. Yes, that happens here.
“There’s no Gruyere,” I said.
“There has to be,” he said. “It should be here.” We walked over to a case that had brie after brie and Romano after Romano and even cheddar from Australia, but no gruyere.
“Wow,” he said. “When I ran this department we always had gruyere.”
I nodded. “I want to make a quiche,” I said.
“I’ll leave a note and have them order some. It’ll be here Wednesday or Friday. I’m really sorry we don’t have any. We should. I’m so sorry.”
I might have looked like I was about to cry, I don’t know.
“Thank you,” I said. I was really appreciative.
Today I went shopping. I didn’t expect to find gruyere, and at first I didn’t. What I expected to find was a little white package with a tiny Swiss flag on it and a monstrous price tag. I kept looking and suddenly I saw it. I was disappointed. The cheese snob inside me was about to repudiate the whole thing. But then… I saw that there were DOZENS of packages of this strange gruyere from Wisconsin, a brand of cheese I’ve never really liked [if it’s good cheese, why smoke it?]. There were DOZENS of packages and they were, essentially, all for me.
Point of fact, it’s not like the valley doesn’t offer such rarities as Swiss gruyere; it does. I’d only have had to go to Safeway up the road. Sometimes they have it. And, ultimately, the cheese isn’t the point.
The point is the cosmic metaphor.
I live in a kind, responsive, generous-hearted valley that will give me the best it knows and my job is to meet it halfway. Tears rose in my eyes as I picked up the package from the IMMENSE pile of gruyere that had been ordered because I said I wanted it.
“Whatever you are, you’re going to be quiche lorraine,” I telepathically explained to the cheese. “Let’s go home.”