There is something magical about the snow. About the dance of snowflakes, the winter cold and the bright light of the winter sun. The snow brings the peace and quiet to think. Time to rest and recuperate. Like the nature that sleeps in its cold embrace. But at first it brings the chaos and restlessness. Everything stops and life gets a whole new pace. Different thoughts come to mind. The wheel of life changes speed and direction. You get a new perspective. Or an entirely different impression of a place.
An interesting turn of events brought me to Paris in February The city of lights. One of the most admired cities on the planet.And there I was standing on the streets of Paris after nearly twenty years. This time they were covered with a thin layer of snow. The first time after nearly thirty years. And this time around… well, it was enchanting. The first time I was in Paris I felt like it was being a little snob and a little full of itself. But this time, the second time, I was hooked. The people of Paris were like little kids, excited about the snow. Their eyes were glowing. Young women from Paris told me that they had never seen the snow in Paris before. And asked me if we had snow back home. “Yes, we have snow. Quiet a lot right now actually.” I explained to them. A little in French and a little in English.The looked so chic. The women of Paris. They walk with their head high and their posture is just full of pride and confidence. And I caught myself correcting my posture and walking with my head held high. So thank you Paris, for reminding me. Thank you for that lesson.
And I admit, I admired the men of Paris as well. Their self-confidence. When they actually caught your eye, looked at you for a brief moment and smiled at you as they walked by. And just like the women, they had this great posture and self-confidence. They were so sure of themselves and it was refreshing. Because lately we don’t look each other in the eyes anymore. We walk the streets like robots, caught in our own thoughts, staring at our phones. Not looking in each other in the eyes. And I realised I miss that. The eye-contact. I am curious. I want to see the color of your eyes and if you smile at a girl walking by. Just like that. Just for the sake of it. Even though I don’t know you. So thank you Paris, for reminding me. Thank you for that lesson.
This time around, on my second visit, I looked at Paris from a brand new perspective. In my mind I was reliving the scenes I read in books. The adventures of Angelique in Toulouse, Paris, Mediterranean, Morocco and Quebec. The adventures of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. I looked for the shadows of Anais Nin and Henry Miller. I finally understood why Paris inspired them so much.
This time around the beauty of Paris seemed warm. It was vibrant and full of life even though it was covered in a thin layer of snow. I forgot about the cold wind and freezing temperatures when the city lit up. When the sun set and it was dark, Paris became the city of lights. Bathing in thousands of lights. Just as I watched it from the plane at its descent on the airport. I remembered seeing the Eiffel tower covered in lights. And suddenly life became bright and playful. Like their sweets and candies in display windows. Paris brought back the colors and awakened long forgotten dreams. It brought back the joy life brings. That genuine one you feel when you take the first bite of a fragile, colorful and sweet macaroon. So thank you Paris, for reminding me. Thank you for that lesson.