Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of
a bridge and lean over to watch the
river slipping slowly away beneath you,
you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
~From WINNIE THE POOH by A.A. Milne
What is it, I wonder, that makes one fall in love with a place without ever having been there? Was it because I was born before the world lost all its innocence, or because I was naïve from having lived a sheltered existence in my young, formative years, or because I’m a dreamer and a romantic who loves fairy tale stories with happy endings, or because at 13 I saw a movie with William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, and Audrey Hepburn and fell in love with the place of magical bridges, glorious sunsets, and a beautiful river? Or is it because I fell in love at 18 with a song bearing a French title and written by a French singer/songwriter? Or because I’ve always loved art and sculpture and beauty, and the place I fell for is a paragon of those things? Or because I studied the French language in school and fell in love with the sounds of the words and the pictures in my text books? Or because I read a novel by Earnest Hemingway and fell in love with him and the city he adored and wrote about? Or is it all those things, especially when seen through the eyes of a sentimental, perhaps even sappy, free-spirited, hopeful, love junkie? Mais bien sûr, oui, oui, et oui!!!
Paris, it is you of whom I speak, and I’m that girl/woman that for more than 50 years has had an ongoing love affair with you, an affair I might add that started half a century before I ever met you in person. And now that I have spent time on two different occasions in your confines, I’m more in love with you than ever. An ex-student and fellow blogger, Victo(Behind the White Coat) at https://doctorly.wordpress.com, partially described my feelings when he wrote that “Sometimes you go to a city and it becomes a part of you. Then you go back and you feel as if you are now, somehow, a part of it.” The only difference is that you became both a part of me and I a part of you at the same time, and I will forever hold you close and dear to my heart. I may shed tears now for your recent tragedy, but I will always celebrate with joy and a smile your grandeur that yet stands in place. And I shall lift you up daily in prayers for safety.
But let all who take refuge in you(Lord) be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. ~Psalm 5:11 ✝
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