OMG – I cried my eyes out when my daughter forwarded me pictures of Paris! The briny wet drops just began streaming down my face after welling up and filling my eyes. I did not expect that. I did not anticipate her showing me pictures she took that were clearly a retrospection of our stay, ten years ago.
She returned to our luxury, three story apartment we rented in the 4th arrondissemnet right across the street from the Louvre. She artfully captured our residence from the outside, at the Palais Royale and its gardens and square. She re-visited Notre Dame and the grounds at the Louvre and some other familiar sights. The gloomy, overcast weather remained intact on her unedited photographs, as if it were the past haunting me, luring me, transporting me, back to Paris – and time.
She was able to enjoy a crepe by a magazine stand, taking a selfie of her delicate morsel in front of touristy periodicals, and my heart broke from times gone by. I remembered how incredible it seemed to be able to enjoy a street side, sweet filled crepe with my children. How strange how time flies right by, and here she was, sending me mementos now, of her adventure and visit, re-tracing the places we took her to, but recreating it years later without holding on to my hand, not needing her parents to cross the boulevard.
My first and only trip to Paris, my childhood and lifelong dream, was back in April of 2004, thanks to my husband arranging it for us as a family. Her second stop in the City of Lights was just a few days ago. I was 44, my first time in Europe, ever. She was ten. Just so bittersweet to receive a reminder of how fortunate we all are, but the minutes, the hours, the days and months and years keep ticking forward, and she is a woman now, living far away, across the span of the country.
There is just something melancholy about the grey Paris skies, the distance of time and space, how life moves on, tender memories are resurrected and the now, seems so faint and gone.
The Palais Royale balconies in the background.