“Boulangerie, fromagerie, poissoneries, laverie” yet another sing song melody in my head as I soulstroll the streets of Belleville, Paris, 19th arr. Practicing the days intention: “step forward with both feet planted in …curiosity and wonder.” Danielle Doby, I am her tribe.
Architecture and street art. Mural on the side of a building with a paper boat, large balloon and kite reminds me of Mary Poppins -imagination taking flight with art.
Père-Lachaise in the 20th arrondissement beckons. Lavender hued blooming heather reminds me of my dad and Scottish ancestors. My heart holds space for grief, memory, gratitude. Sure enough, owls catch my attention from above: four ensconced atop a families tomb, wings open wide.
“…honor each moment in its entirety. for you understand that in the present moment is where your happiness is found.” Danille Doby, I am her tribe.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a 15 minute stroll from our Airbnb beckons. Tree lined paths, winding trails, a bridge over the lake, daffodils unfolding, view of Sacre Coeur. Fellow humanity laying out picnic supplies and blankets, dogs merrymaking – one almost taking out its owner under foot – I am here now.
Unusual February weather, warm enough to dine outside, seated on the terrace at Le Pavillon du Lac – une pause au vert. Practicing presence. Sipping, savoring slowly, dining solo. Opening my heart and ears to all that surrounds me: french speakers, “bonjour, avec plaisir” clatter of dishes and cutlery being cleared off tables, children’s laughter, hushed voices (huddled close in conversation), shuffling feet of joggers as they flow past the terrace, cadence of bird chatter. My soul content and grateful.
“SoulStrollers learn while they walk, reaching new destinations by going and slowing.” Kayce Stevens Hughlett, SoulStoller: experiencing the weight, whispers and wings of the world.