Just Frances

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Out of place

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 31st, 2012 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: scotland, nature, inspirations, immigration, fear, expat, crazy, confession

As I walked into town this afternoon, I noticed a dandelion growing in a wall along the pavement. It was sticking out brightly against the grey stone as if to say ‘Hello! I’m here! I belong!’ even though it wasn’t really meant to be there; even though it risked someone removing it or spraying it with deadly chemicals.

And, as sometimes happens when I see things that I wasn’t expecting to see, this little out of place flower (weed?) got me thinking a bit about my own life.

You might recall last week’s post about my struggles to keep it together. Well, without getting into too many details, part of those struggles stemmed from my tenuous future here in Scotland. You see, much like the dandelion, I’m trying to put down roots somewhere that isn’t my natural home. I’m trying to put down roots and live a life of joy, but I’m doing it with the constant fear that someone will walk along and pluck me out and toss me aside—like a weed growing where it doesn’t belong.

Yes, I know—it’s a really cornball analogy. But I hope you get the point.

(And I’m trying not to think about the analogy where the dandelion (me) causes the wall (Scotland) to weaken and crumble because of the foreign matter edging in (immigration). No, let’s not think about that analogy!)

Anyhow, I am still worried. I am still struggling with the fears of an uncertain future and I am still trying to figure out what my next steps will be. But whilst I’m worrying, I’m also trying to find solutions. And I’m trying to be gentle with myself, recognising that even if all of my worries and fears play out to completion, it just means that I have an opportunity to start over again—whether I want to or not.

So, I am still feeling a bit down and stressed and overwhelmed, but a little less than I did last week. Yes, I am surviving. And with luck, my friend the dandelion will survive, too!


I think it’s nature reclaiming what was once hers.  Nature always finds a way.

by Sarah at 12:39am (GMT) on April 1st, 2012

I can’t imagine you sticking out like a weed there, where it may not be your natural home in the physical plane, it certainly is in your heart & mind and I think that plane matters far more than the physical. Take for instance that you already use an “s” in instances where we would use a “z”. Also it’s not like you are trying to go in & overthrow them with Western Idealism, you are delving into their culture and I am sure you are fitting right in!

by Ramona at 9:23am (GMT) on April 2nd, 2012

I love dandelions. My children bring them to me all the time because to their innocent eye, they are indeed flowers! And if you hold them under your chin, they will tell you whether they like butter or not.

And if you are standing next to me, I would love you no matter which country your roots are in. Scotland is blessed for having you!

by Amy at 10:34pm (GMT) on April 2nd, 2012

Ooo… I like that!

by Just Frances at 11:32pm (GMT) on April 2nd, 2012

Socially I think I fit in and feel that I belong, I’m just worried about the long term legality of my stay. Immigration laws changed recently so I don’t know how long I’m able to stay on now. It’s disappointing, but I am trying to stay hopeful. (I struggle with that some days, but I haven’t completely given up yet!)

by Just Frances at 11:34pm (GMT) on April 2nd, 2012

When I was in kindergarten, a boy brought me a fistful of dandelions and told me I was the prettiest girl he knew. I was so embarrassed by the attention that I told him I was allergic. And I could see the disappointment in his eyes, which made me feel so guilty. The next day I found him a four leaf clover and told him that I liked him. Now, every time I see dandelions I smile because it reminds me of that boy. (I can’t remember his name, but he was very nice.)

by Just Frances at 11:38pm (GMT) on April 2nd, 2012

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