I am typically weary of stereotypes and I try to avoid clichés when I travel, but sometimes I allow myself some dalliance with the mundane.  On my last trip to Paris my friend would not allow herself to visit the city without seeing the Eiffel Tower light show.  So as I stood there among the throngs of tourists, I watched as a rosy iridescent haze settled over the city.  I couldn’t help but notice an accordion player serenading the crowd with his rendition of Édith Piaf’s "La Vie en Rose.” It was fitting I suppose, as La Vie en Rose literally means to see life through rose colored glasses.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”   I have always considered myself to be a romantic, but something in that moment released a deluge of internecine thoughts that inundated my consciousness with an overwhelming since of nostalgia.  I thought of my mother and of all the things she never got to do in her life.  I thought about all the opportunities I’ve had because of her sacrifices. I thought about all of the beautiful places I’ve seen and the appreciation I have for those experiences because of the values and ideals she instilled into her two sons.

As I sit here at my computer, an ocean and an epoch away from that night, I can still smell the rain soaked air and see the rosy hues that enveloped my senses as I stood transfixed marveling from the Trocadéro.  That moment, as beautiful as any I can remember in my life, permeates my consciousness, sort of like those hazy dreams that that stalk the pre-dawn hours of my sleep.  Memories fade but the past remains, like a beacon echoing into the future, reminding me of where I’ve been and what I’ve done.  Surely I can never forget?

0 comments: