We left Paris three weeks ago, and I’d planned to write separate blogs for each of the attractions we saw. Today I was going to post about The Louvre and Montmartre. Then I woke up to a barrage of messages from loved ones. They were worried and thankful that we weren’t there for what happened yesterday evening.
Dazed and unsure of what the messages were referring to, I got out of bed this morning and googled what happened in Paris. It broke my heart. In a beautiful city, filled with amazing food and even better people, something atrocious happened.
My mind instantly went to the men working at a Turkish restaurant just outside our flat who helped us on the first night we arrived by providing internet access. Then they checked in with us each morning, asking how we were doing. Are they okay? What about the painters and impressionists we chatted with on day three, the guy dressed in a nice suit, most likely on his way to work who stopped when he saw us hopelessly staring at a city map and offered directions. How are they?
I imagine that if they aren’t hurt, they’re scared. They’re angry and confused. I’m angry and confused. I’m mad that this sort of thing goes on. But mostly I’m sad. I’m sad that there are innocent people who were taken down. I’m sad that there are brainwashed people who think killing is the best option.
Then I think of the streets, how quiet they get in the early morning hours as a mist lays heavy all around. The Eiffel tower peeking through to say good morning, and the smell of fresh coffee and cinnamon crepes in the air. I think of the cobblestone sidewalks in Montmartre, the pristine entry to The Louvre where we stood taking pictures before exploring inside. What are those streets and sidewalks like this morning? When people wake up, how will they see the city today? Surely its beauty has been robbed. When the locals and tourists look out their windows, what are they thinking today?
On our second to last day there, Dylan and Evan asked if we could move to Paris next. They fell in love with the city like I did, and like countless others who visited before us. The city was… is warm, kind, and inviting, and one of my favorite places.
Tomorrow I’ll finish writing the series of blogs I started about our time in Paris simply because Paris deserves to be known for its charm and beauty rather than this horrible thing that happened there. But for today I’ll ask you to join me as I mourn with the people there, hope for those who we came to know, and pray for all of the people affected that they experience peace in times of terror and love in times of worry.