Living in France had been my dream since I was sixteen years old. I had other dreams as well, some realized, some not. But France was a dream realized.
Dreams change, though. Some are replaced by new dreams. When France is no longer the dream, what is next? How does one transition from one dream to the next?
It was time to say goodbye to France. I was ready, but still. I collect people the way that some people collect coins or dolls. It is always hard to say goodbye to people, not so much to places.
Time passed quickly, and before I knew it, it was my last day in Paris. I had one more place to go, one place that remained unvisited, unseen by my eyes: the apartment in the fifteenth arrondissement where Rose Wilder Lane lived in the 1920’s – 8 Square Desnouettes. I went alone, sort of to say goodbye to the city and hello to Rose. Rose was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s only child and a prolific writer herself. Laura was my inspiration to become a writer for children. Another dream realized. When I crossed the boulevard to Square Desnouettes, I expected to see a plaque of some sort, denoting Rose’s residence. There was nothing. I wanted to write “Rose Was Here” on the wall, but I didn’t, of course. Just standing there, in the place where Rose came and went was inspiring. The next morning I boarded a plane and headed home. I had lived in France. Finally. And I said goodbye to her in the best way possible – with Rose, another expatriate writer who eventually came home.