I took another step toward assimilating to Minnesota life today. I went to a hosta sale at someone’s home. For those of you not from Minnesota, or not in tune with the gardening vibe here, hostas are like a religion. Everyone grows hostas, or knows someone who grows them, or their grandma grew them when they were a kid. I have actually become quite fond of these plants. They are fairly diverse and come in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, or a combination of these colors. They grow so well here that everyday gardeners can grow them with much success and they spread prolifically allowing people to dig up sprouts and sell them without any worries about them not growing back. I have heard of these sales before but had never gone to one until today.
When I walked up to the hosta sale house a very nice woman, friend of the gardener, started talking to me about hostas and whether or not I grow them. She showed me some different varieties. Then I struck up a conversation with the gardener herself, the curator of the sale. She started talking to me about my favorite varieties, then asked if I wanted a tour of her garden so she could show me what some of the varieties look like mature. As I was following behind her I had this funny sensation. I was imagining who she must think I am. Here I am talking to her about hostas like I have always grown them, like I grew up around here and grew up growing them alongside my mom and grandma. In her mind, I may be very much Minnesotan, my accent has changed a bit and I can talk Minnesotan with the best of them, and I tend to talk that way when around the locals. It’s catchy! To her I may very well have been just another Minnesota girl, albeit dark-haired, but a Minnesota girl none-the-less.
I found myself imagining what that would be like. To have grown up here, to have generations of my family living within a short drive. To have known lakes, not oceans, and non-foldable pizza. It’s not that I regret where I am from. Not at all. But some days I think it might be nice to be like many folks here. To know the coziness of having your family around, to live in a state that you can’t imagine leaving or that you know you will eventually return to. To believe that the weather here isn’t so bad and that winter is something you like and even long for. That life, that one that I think must sometimes be perceived by others who don’t know my story, yes, sometimes I think that would have been a very nice life.
Sometimes I wish I could live that perception even for a day, to see what that contented feeling is like. It’s tiring to always wish that your mom was still here, that your family didn’t live in four regions of the country. I think it would be nice to know that your siblings and your aunts (pronounced onts 🙂 ) and uncles and cousins are all fairly near-by and living a relatively similar existence. I know that life is about choices and contentedness is a choice too. But for me, for someone not from here, it is a choice that takes a lot of work. Some days I get tired of working at it.There are some days I wish I wasn’t shocked at where I have wound up. I wish that living in Minnesota was just normal and satisfying and good enough. It’s tiring to always wonder if the grass is greener in some other place. Some days it might be nice to just be convinced that it isn’t. But that isn’t my story. I am who I am. And most days that is ok 🙂