I was awakened from a deep sleep with a kiss one winter morning. Seeing my husband’s sweet smile encouraged me to look forward to an eventful day. Although the demanding schedule of our European trip was slowly taking its toll physically, I almost wanted to stay in bed and delight in the warmth and comfort of sleep and rest.
However, Paris is one address in the world that no one takes for granted.
With aching feet, yet very itchy at wanting to explore the City of Love, I detached from the clutches of luxury and comfort and dressed up in layers of clothing to shield me from the wintry morning that was as alien as ET. Hailing from the tropics, that statement was as white as snow; which, for the first time in my life, I saw and touched in Paris.
Four days have passed since the time I met up with our kids on Skype and it had added to the brewing emotions scuffling in me. The excitement was wrestled with the fear of not knowing how the kids were able to manage being left on their own. Then, it happened. Upon connection, I knew something was wrong.
True enough, our eldest child had been confined in the hospital and I was thousands of miles away. The guilt and fear added turmoil to my stressed out heart. Yet, together with her younger siblings, they appeared cheerful and even encouraged us to enjoy Paris and to relish the experience. As a mom, I know that mothers are not sculpted from stone that can remain stoic and not react to their children’s well-being. But the resolve of my sick daughter was enough to pacify my aching heart. In prayer, I lifted everything to the Lord.
As we pushed our way out to finally begin our Parisian adventure, my heart was still in a troubled state. The wintry winds and frozen temperature added to my repelling demeanor. But the patience and warmth of my husband somehow thawed my cold emotions. Yet, the fiasco flourished.
La Tour Eiffel is one major tourist site that is embodied in any traveler’s destination or day dreamer’s bucket list. Because of the compelling mixed emotions that thrived in me, when one moment was excitement and the next was guilt, the momentous experience of seeing the Tower in its full grandeur seemed a memory too insignificant to recall. The snippets of the moments under the magnificence of the Eiffel Tower will remain to be gifts unopened until the time the Lord allows us another opportunity to unwrap and truly enjoy them.
In the haze, however, I remember the towering intricate metal weaving of the infamous landmark. It whirled in spirals intertwined together forming rhythmic patterns uniquely its own. Its four legs steadfastly mounted on cemented foundation lifted up the tower of steel forming a voluptuous pinnacle of engineering masterpiece.
Sadly, there were quite a number of immigrants of Eastern European descent who pan-handled under the tower. They were mostly women draped in their indigenous outfits with little children in tow who played around the tourists’ empathy. They reminded me of the counterparts we have in our own country. Needless to say, life has its intrinsic needs; it knows no creed, race or affiliations.
Despite the Eiffel Tower being French, it stands to symbolize everyone’s desire to fulfill a need, to realize a dream or to just bring warmth on someone’s cold heart no matter which part of the globe one hails from. My failure to fully be enthralled in the privilege of seeing the tower made me realize today that it was not a fiasco after all; but a fantastic French twist to an overall French connection. C’est la Vie!