19 June 2012

Cherry picking and a life coming to fruition

I've long wanted to go cherry-picking here in the Bay area, and finally, this past weekend, I was able to go with a small group of friends.  We had a blast, despite the sky-rocketing temperatures, gathering pounds and pounds of fruit and enjoying the sweet, juicy cherries in the shade of the trees.  And these trees, as I think about it, have been marking out the twists and turns that my life has taken in the past season.

Not quite three months ago, I drove past these cherry trees in breathtaking bloom on my way up from Santa Barbara.  I was on a trip, an exploratory trip to the Bay Area, doing some legwork and networking to launch my job search into high gear.  Driving through Gilroy, I was stunned by the drifts of pink and white blooms alongside the freeway.  As many times as I'd made the trip along the 101 when I was an undergrad at Stanford, I don't think I ever caught the cherry orchards at the right time of year to see the gorgeous display.  The beauty of it all this past March made my heart sing and filled me with hope that that particular trip would be a success.

It was not--at least, not as far as I could tell.  Returning south a week later, I was feeling discouraged.  Discouraged not only because it seemed like all my leads had fizzled out, but also because I felt there was no possible way I could find a job that would bring together all the disparate bits and pieces of me and my dreams in a unified whole.  After a week of conversations and job hunting, I was uncertain what I should do next and whether I even had the emotional energy to keep pouring myself into the search for a job that I didn't think could exist.

About a month later, I drove through Gilroy again, this time on my way to San Francisco for an interview.  My sister's encouragement to keep looking and a serendipitous internet search had led me to a job posting for a position that was such a perfect fit for me, it seemed too good to be true.  A position that would require international cultural fluency.  That would require my science and education background.  That would give me an opportunity to share with medical staff around the world about a revolutionary, hope-giving cancer therapy that is just starting to get noticed in oncology circles.  That would make a beautiful difference in people's lives.  In Gilroy, the cherry blooms were gone, but little fresh green leaves were just budding out.  We Germans would say that "die Bäume schlagen aus."  Hope was springing up again!

The interview went well, but I entered into a time of limbo, not knowing what would happen next, whether I would be chosen as the candidate.  A few weeks and a second interview later, the word was in: I had been offered the job!  And on my last drive up from Santa Barbara to officially take up the new job responsibilities, the trees were loaded with ripe, plump, and beautifully red fruit.  Indeed, mirroring nature, my own search for a job had reached fruition.

Today, I arrived in Taipei.  Yes, this San Francisco-based job has sent me to one of my favorite places on earth.  After a few days here (with jaunts to Tainan for meetings), I head to Seoul and after that to Busan.  And then here and there and back and forth.  I'm humbled and thankful for this gift of a job.  Right now my language-learning-loving brain is thrilled at seeing all the signs in Chinese characters, hearing the familiar cadence of Mandarin, and recognizing that I understand a LOT more than I did last year.  For my first meal here, I found an awesome Buddhist vegetarian restaurant (古彿素食) around the corner from my hotel, and it was such bliss getting to dig into my beloved purple five-grain rice (五穀飯) again!

Yes indeed, the harvest is being pulled in, and my heart wells over with gratitude.

Simply delicious, simply healthy:
Fage 0% Total Greek yogurt with freshly-picked cherries


The Church Cook said...

Oh, congratulations on your job, dear Erica!! How the Lord teaches us patience and giving us the eyes and hearts to see beauty in the midst of uncertainty! Traveling to those wonderful countries you love! Giving thanks and rejoicing with you! HUGS!

erica said...

Hi Kay! Hugs to you too! Yes, I praise the Lord for his goodness. He has been strengthening my faith in wonderful ways through these twists and turns--letting me see how good only he can be. :) Looking forward to all that he has in store!

Hope said...

Congratulations Erica! What a great job you found! I'm so happy for you! You deserve it!

Susan Lindquist said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! To be in a position that one loves and to have challenges that nurture the brain and the soul is truly a blessing!

Best of luck in this new chapter, Erica!

Unknown said...

I've been a lurker/fan for a while but I wanted to say congrats!! It sounds like an amazing opportunity for you! I found your blog after doing a search for some korean recipe and have been hooked since! I hope you travels will bring you many more things to share with us here on your blog :) caroline

erica said...

Thank you so much, everyone, for your kind comments and celebrations with me! I am certain that a by-product of this new life-rhythm will bring good things for Apricosa!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so envious that you get to travel to Korean again. Have a safe and fun trip and much luck with your new job.

the Junkie book said...

Congrats! Such fruition and Apricosa will be on a high now! Wishing you the very best in your job and the people and experiences you encounter!! God bless!

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