Single Parent Faith

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break in Paris

The intermittent cold blustery winds, amidst the sprinkling rain- it was a marvelous March experience. There were moments where it hailed smaller than pea-size pellets, just long enough to sip a few smooth gulps of my cafe ole. I watched from the inside of a cafe, as umbrellas magically opened, covering the sea of pedestrians. Moments earlier there were no umbrellas in sight, as people busily bustled about. Momentary slivers of sleet, tapping the sidewalks, as I struggled to retrieve my travel size umbrella. By the time I managed to open it, the sleet was gone. The remainder of the day was beautiful, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, but what the heck, I was in Paris!

How could you even have a bad day?....In Paris. This magical moment did not escape me. The weather would not deter me from enjoying this ordinary spring Paris day. To me, it was everything but ordinary. What is it about observing an ordinary day, with extra-ordinary intent? The littlest things, did not evade my notice. The street sounds, were not familiar. Ambulance and Police sirens were as foreign a sound as the the bits and pieces of French conversations drifting by my Texas twang tuned ears. The walking we undertook, could be described as very wakeful. My ears and eyes, were atuned to my surroundings- Soaking in all the different and new, while even the familiar drew my attention. I was in awe of this very moment where I existed on the Paris streets, as an ordinary pedestrian among all the rest.

Periodically I scanned the sky, drawing in the softly painted sparse clouds. The blue appeared just as the blue I see in Texas. Yet there was a different glow when the sun set. My eyes absorbed the beauty one early evening as I caught the distant glimmer of the horizon, slowly fading as it was overtaken by a striking blue hue. I rushed to try to capture this work of God's art, only to find my lack of camera skills getting in the way of doing it justice.

I slowly lingered, as I passed a boulangerie or patisserie. The desserts were quite simply, works of art unto themselves. I could never wander by without paying the proper respect due to every colorful and artistically decorated pastry! My stare, longing and resistant to rushing, tried to soak in the beauty, as if to permanently sear it in my mind.

The obvious pride quite evident in the presentation. When I couldn't merely walk on by, I would stop and order a dessert to go. The care taken to delicately wrap it up, was a treat to observe. The to go container consisted of soft pastels depicting a scene straight from a child's fairy tale. I marveled at the simplicity, and yet fanciful wrappings of an item which would soon be consumed.


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