At a Snail’s Pace

I was in Paris last week. So now I have to take “desperate for a trip to Paris” off the social media environments where I still maintain a presence. In many ways, it felt like coming home. Coming home to the best, most true, most fundamental part of myself. In other ways, it felt equally clear that I’d rather stay in Copenhagen.

But enough about that … this is about escargots.

Never in my life have I had a problem getting the little snails out of their shells. But this time I dug deeply into four out of six and got nothing.

Nothing!

I actually considered asking the waiter if they had served me empty shells, but didn’t want to look like the ignorant tourist who just doesn’t know how to each French food.

So I looked into the shells while holding them delicately with the little escargot tongs. Do they have a name? (All the while terrified of doing a Pretty Woman in the middle of the restaurant and sending one of the slippery little suckers flying half way across the room.)

I saw them. Nestled in there. Just waiting for the fork. But utterly unwilling to come out and be eaten.

I could have given up. I could have settled for slices of baguette dipped into the buttery parsley and garlic sauce. In itself delicious. But it wasn’t what I ordered. It wasn’t what I wanted.

It would have been so simple to sit there, choosing the easy option. Happy with what I could get.

But all the while knowing there was something more. Something wonderful, something I wanted, if only I was willing to work a little harder for it, to dig a little deeper.

And if I still couldn’t manage it, there was always the bread.

It’s not really about escargots. It’s about being brave.

About the difference between settling for what you have, however good, and going the extra mile for what you really want.

I made my choice.

I thoroughly enjoyed my snails.

All six.

paris escargots
life lessons from escargots
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