Oprah Winfrey uses the word, “marvelism” and Phil Cousineau writes in The Art of Pilgrimage, “How will you remember to remember when you return home?”
It’s been almost 3 months since I returned home from 3 weeks in Paris. Usually, my pen is quick to the page, eager to share the bounty from my travels. Somehow, my showing up to the page, journaling, and blogging have been underground – perhaps cocooning in my memory, simmering, pondering? Or (not that it needs to be either/or) I’ve been resistant to write; a strange and lonely place for me.
Today is the day to unpack my metaphorical pilgrimming, SoulStrolling bags and re-visit our day together in Reims, France.
This was part of our SoulStrolling Paris Part 2, “…itinerary subject to change, with only delightful consequences.” While Kayce S. Hughlett and I had been planning and pondering our day in the week where we travel outside of Paris, Reims kept coming to mind. We looked at hiring guides, traveling by bus, group tour champagne tasting… we landed upon leading our 4 courageous, curious, returning participants on our own. We traveled by TGV train, strolled through the Cathedral, savored lunch, visited 2 champagne houses and sipped the bubbly elixir of the divine.
When crafting our SoulStrolling plans, we hold them lightly: ready to shift, change, go with the flow, opening ourselves to intuition, magic, wonder, serendipity, ‘marvelism’. The weather our first few days in Paris was colder than usual, grayer than usual and generally ‘unusual’. The forecast for our ‘itinerary’ to Reims was looking rather grim. Kayce and I practiced what we facilitate: put away the app, checked our body compass, pondered and decided to go.
Light clouds, sunshine and blue sky greeted us upon arrival. Stepping off the train we immediately shed a layer, donned sunglasses and inhaled the warm air. What a gift!
With free maps from the Information Booth, off we meandered along cobbled streets, taking in beauty through architecture, landscape and nature. The Cathedral stood upright before us and we entered with open hearts, eyes and souls. As my eyes adjusted to the darker interior light, my gaze landed upon colors via stained glass, glimmering at the back of the cathedral. My heart skipped a beat and I knew, before I knew, Chagall’s stained glass windows called.
Some of you, who have visited Reims, or read about Reims and the Cathedral may already be aware that Chagall created windows for this building. This was news to me. I had a profound experience with some of Chagall’s art in Paris, at an exhibition the previous fall at The Philharmonie. ‘Marvelism’ reached toward me from the back of the cathedral: deep blues, crimson, forest green, purple. Story, art, color stirred within my heart, bringing forth small droplets of tears – in gratitude, wonder, joy, love.
Individually we took time to savor our own unique path and way of being in the Cathedral. One SoulStrolling participant chose to exit the Cathedral, lay on a surrounding wall outside, soak in the sun, and watch the sky unfurl.
Before leaving we gathered quietly together in the old thatched chair pews as Kayce read a Blessing by Pixie Lighthorse, Honoring Wisdom: “We’re so grateful for our precious lives, mysterious forces of enlightenment…Lead us toward our deepest healing and elevated understanding, so we can climb the mountain of our highest potential…Allow us to be bold in our expression of love for you and for one another, taking away all hesitancy and resistance to become who we’ve always been.”
We stepped across the threshold, exiting through ancient wooden doors, out into the light.
…to be continued…