Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame

When I heard the news yesterday--that Notre Dame--our lady--was in flames, I had no words. I've heard from so many of my French friends and my American Francophile friends. We are devastated by the news. 

And yet, there is hope, because here we are in the light of day, the next morning and we've discovered that indeed our prayers have been answered and much of Notre Dame has been saved. Yes, there is terrible damage and a long road ahead, but her "bones" are good and strong and she will return, she will have her rebirth, her resurrection. 

When I went through my photos from my recent visit to Paris in October, I realized that I had not taken one really good photo of Our Lady. In fact, I do believe I took her for granted. While walking across the Pont Neuf I pointed my camera in the direction of the newer, perhaps more glamorous--Eiffel Tower. When I was en route to the Marais, I was busy thinking about buying pretty dresses for my grand daughters, and I hardly looked up at the grand cathedral on the island, let alone stop to say a silent prayer of thanks, or even to take a photo of the lovely lady with the flying buttresses. Rather, I was busy with fashion week and chasing down the stylish young ladies who had crowded into Paris for the big week. 

But yesterday, when Notre Dame was engulfed in flames and seemingly on the verge of complete ruin and loss, I regretted my taking her for granted. I regretted that I did not truly see her in October. 

And so, I have made a vow that when I am next in Paris, I will stop to pay homage to her. I will pay homage to all those structures and places that have made Paris, Paris. I will do this--yes, partly because I have been reminded of how fleeting life and love and beauty truly is, but also because I do not want to live with regret. 

And so, my message to you, today, mes amis, is to look at what's in front of you--your loved ones, your family, your friends, that iconic house down the road, your local library, or the forest, or the mountains, or even that little quirky cafe that you frequent and stop and look at--really look at this person or persons or beautiful thing that has given you so much pleasure--and open your heart and share your love, because you never know. You never know. I send you my love and thanks and great appreciation, today and everyday!

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