Did you know there are wide wooden chairs on the Seine in Paris? Along the left bank, in a lovely hidden spot, floating on barges, just begging for a soul to lounge. I simply could not refuse the invitation. Gazing out over the Seine, inhaling and exhaling, thrilled in my heart to be in Paris. The river whispered, ‘simply be, fill your heart with joy and gratitude, open your soul, let’s see what Paris has to say.’
I recently returned from 5 weeks in France! A gift to myself and intentional pursuit of a deep longing to spend more time in Paris as well as a week in Provence/Languedoc. Paris feels like ‘home’ to me. The city of lights has called me back often over the past 25 years.
Soft evening light reflected off the stained glass windows in St. Chappelle as 3 violinists, one cellist and a harpsichordist passionately played. Pachebel’s Canon wove, wafted, and floated as fading light danced over the colored glass. Magic, delight, wonder. I smiled, laughed out loud, was moved to tears and applauded with the audience in standing ovation as the musicians brought their instruments to a close. This was my souls first noticing of the call to ponder ‘reflection.’
I’d wanted to visit Fondation Louis Vuitton since its opening in October 2014. http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/. Located in the Bois de Bologne, I found my way there via metro, riding the Velib home later that afternoon. http://en.velib.paris.fr/
Standing beneath a blue clear fall sky, I shed my layers as the sun warmed those of us waiting patiently in line. An older French woman, elegantly dressed, chatted away at me (I understood about half of what she said) when along came a handsome young gentleman carrying wooden handled white umbrellas. An employee of the museum he was sharing them with those of us who would like to shield our faces from the intense sun and linger under shade. Only in Paris 🙂 Reflection called.
“Parfais, il faut regarder la vie sous un angle différent.” Sometimes, you have to look at life from a different angle. I’m not sure exactly how to describe the stunning beauty of the exterior of this museum. Light, water, glass, reflected off the exterior as my eyes tried to capture the beauty and sheer delight that crept into my heart, making me giddy with anticipation of what might unfold inside.
“In a mirror is where we find a reflection of our appearances, but in a heart is where we find a reflection of our soul.” unknown. Dozens of yellow multi mirrored sided panels called to me as I walked through, around, behind, weaving my path, inhaling and exhaling in sheer delight as reflections filled the space – off water, ceilings, other guests. I was drawn back to this exhibit countless times. It felt holy, sacred, timeless…almost like a labyrinth…I paused slowly in walking meditation.
“Our souls need to time to think, dream and reflect.” Jo Ann Davis. This time was a gift for my soul. Having recently ‘launched’ our 3 young adult children from home to various University locations, pursuits and dreams, this time was a gift. A time to be, think, ponder, savor, celebrate. After hours soulstrolling in the museum, I exited to the park next door, Jardin d’Acclimatations, where fountains exploded beads of water, children played, people strolled (flâneur), and sunlight fill the sky. Charles Dickens murmured in the background, “Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man/woman, has many….”
Chateau Vaux le Vicomte had been on my ‘hope to see’ list for a number of years. I followed this desire and was able to visit on the final day/evening of their candlelight/fireworks show. What a gift. Sun broke through pillowy clouds and ‘reflections’ jumped out at me while I gave myself permission to be. Nature, architecture, history, champagne shared its beauty.
Reflection continued to catch my attention at Giverny, where Monet’s home and surrounding gardens burst with flowers, color, light, and beauty. It then followed me to the small town of Uzés, and down along the marshy banks of Parc Ornithologique where flamingoes danced, paraded, chatted, conversed and basked under a sunlit sky. The Rhone river gifted its soft evening light, filling the sky like a canvas. “Life is like a great big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye
One of my weeks was spent sharing the wonders and invitation of Paris with a remarkable group of women who responded to our invitation ‘SoulStrolling á Paris.’ http://www.liveittogiveit.me/soul-strolling/ I’ll be writing more about this particular week in a future post.
My invitation both to myself and to you, fellow readers, is what might ‘reflection’ be calling to you?