• Jennifer Meliton

Notre Dame.


Since I was a little girl, I have loved all things France, all things Paris. My first visit to the most magical place was in 1987 as a high school student. I was instantly in love with the majesty of her history and the beauty of this place that looks and sounds so heavenly. Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite is the heart and soul of Paris.

One step inside the massive cathedral and I didn't feel closer, I felt completely transported as if a vapor. The feeling of being in a place of such significance, walking where Joan of Arc and Napolean, kings, queens and Popes made history is more than one can fathom, so you begin to rely what you see, hear, and smell to make sense of it all.

For almost 30 years I held those glimpses of majesty close, so I could conjure them up when asked about a happy place or favorite experience. In 2015 I walked through those doors again with my daughter Alexa. Together breathing in the same air, walking the same steps of millions both great and small. All who were there flew on the strains of the organ as they drifted away, moments after they had been produced. I had the chance to stay and hear a performance, then to spend the afternoon walking the Ile de la Cite and sitting on steps beside the Siene. That day holds some of my favorite moments and recalling them I can feel the warmth of the July sun and the cool shelter of Notre Dame.

Today I shed tears watching flames consume what had stood for centuries. There were so many roadblocks to making the trips that took me there, and I am so thankful to have bulldozed them in order to get there. Whether you want to go to Paris, New York, the Grand Canyon or Toledo, make it happen as soon as you can. Don't wait for history, don't wait for the right time. Nothing will wait for you forever.

"So deep was the instinctive sympathy between the old church and himself ... that he somehow adhered to it like the tortoise to its shell." -Victor Hugo

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