Paris is so unique and simply breathtaking, as are so many places around Europe. The architecture, the craftsmanship, the ornate detail it its old buildings is like nothing builders can emulate today. And certainly nothing I’ve seen before on the continent I call home.
The historical ‘experience’ that Europe has to offer is amazing, an experience that I am so blessed to have walked during my teen years more the two decades ago. Yesterday, as I watched videos of the Notre Dame Cathedral central spire collapsing in flames, my mind went back to my family's experience together in that great city. Even at 15 years old, I was in awe of the architecture and its history.
Standing tall and strong, appearing as if they were built to be indestructible. Their walls, their steps, their pillars of solid stone, massive wooden doors, mesmerizing interiors, and magical stained glass windows. Detail to the nines. Buildings that have been there for so long, you think nothing could touch it. We visit it’s space without considering that tomorrow it might not be there, even though it’s sat there for over 1,000 years.
What would it be like to jump back in time? To watch the artisans in action as they worked on the structures we have standing today? Buildings we might take for granted, but actually took years and a lot of 'blood sweat and tears' to build. It's just incredible! They built back then as if there was no schedule or deadline, as if no budget, or constraints on the amount of detail they could put into their work. How did they do it?
Just 'any old building' wouldn’t normally be in the hearts of so many people. But one of such beauty, magnificence, spirituality, history, grace, and peace within its walls, a symbol of Paris, is a loss that so many now grieve.
Today, I’m reflecting on the fact that on April 15, 2019, our world itself lost parts of history, parts of a significant monument from its history, one that our children will not get to walk into tomorrow and feel it’s original greatness and majesty. Though its not irreparable, the damage is still devastating. For me, the fire yesterday is a reminder how one slight thing can shift our world in a second in time and change things forever.
Notre Dame Cathedral is a stunning structure. And it’s fire yesterday is a reminder to not take anything we have for granted because things change every second. To love our loved ones harder today. To BE with them and appreciate them. To stop and breathe in this moment we have today, as the beautiful gift that it is.
What was your experience when you watched Notre Dame in flames yesterday?