Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come. – Martini, Under the Tuscan Sun
Every once in a while I share this story, whether I’m explaining to someone I know why I have a ladybug tattooed on my foot or I’m writing a blog post in a distant blog about this very thing. At my Weight Watchers meeting tonight my leader mentioned using “anchors” to keep yourself grounded. She spoke about the diamond earring she has that her mother left to her when she died. Rita told us about the time she had to go into the bathroom to calm herself down, rubbing her diamond and reminding herself of all that that diamond was. This meeting made me think of all of this, of my ladybug tattoo and the story I’m about to tell. Actually, it’s not so much a story as a retelling of a scene.
If you’ve seen Under the Tuscan Sun, you are familiar with this scene.
Here, I’ll set it up for you, Frances is talking to Katherine about all of the things she wants out of life and all of the things she wants out of Italy. She’s talking less and complaining a little bit more. Once Frances is done, Katherine tells her, “Listen, when I was a little girl I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.” Then she says, “Go work on your house.”
To me, this is a story about faith. It’s about taking care of all of the little things instead of worrying about not having exactly what it is that you want. It’s the fact that if you really want something and you go out and live your own life, do what needs to be done, these things will have a way of coming to you.
This is one huge thing for me. Faith. Having faith in myself. And life. And taking care of things. It’s something I have to remind myself of, and I often forget to do it. It’s something that’s so important to me, I tattooed it to my foot as a constant reminder. My tattoo isn’t perfect, there are a few spots that are lighter than others due the the horrible time I had while it was healing. I could have those spots fixed. But right now I keep them, and part of that reason is another reminder that it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to not have exactly what you want right now. As long as you are working for it. You can’t just get there. You have to pave the way.