Saturday, September 12, 2009

Une Sieste...a nap in the heart of Paris

I left the apartment today in search of something to do.  Sophie, the mother of the family I am living with, suggested an art exhibit.  It is at the Louvre for about a month and has pictures of Paris before people like Napoleon added all of their self-decorating monuments (at least I think this is what Sophie was all in French, so I am only half sure of what she said).  I decided I might as well go.  Plus...and this is one of my favorite is FREE!  

I had all day to wander and just hang out, so I stopped on my way to get a fresh baguette and some turkey slices for lunch, which I ate on a bench at the Louvre.  I got into my book and probably sat there and read and ate for an hour.  Then I went over to some nice grass to continue reading.  I was so relaxed and comfortable in the warm sun that I almost fell asleep. Instead of getting up and heading to the exhibit, I decided to find another plot of grass to take a nap.  I couldn't help myself.  Nice place for a nap, don't you think (notice the Eiffel Tower in the background)?  I can always go to that exhibit another day. 

It felt so nice and calming. I turned my ipod on, which brought me reminders of all the people I love at home and the memories I have of them and these songs.  The sun was so warm and brilliantly bright behind my sunglasses and closed eyelids.  There was a gentle breeze that was perfect and calming, and the grass was a little moist beneath me.  Every once in a while I would open my eyes to surprise myself with my surroundings.  Here I was, taking a nap on the lawns of the Louvre.  I was surrounded by it's beauty.  In the distance I could see the Eiffel Tower and the Orsay Museum, which houses several masterpieces by artists such as VanGogh, Monet, and Renoir.  

The first song on my ipod was "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel.  It just made me happy and in a great mood.  Then another, more powerful song came on.  As I stared up into the blue heavens, half-blinded by the sun's rays, good old Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" came on.  It was really comforting, even though it brought tears to my eyes towards the end where the voices increase an octave (I think that's what happens anyway...I'm not an expert in the music department).  

You are not alone, for I am here with you
Though we're far apart, you're always in my heart

It made me think of everyone I miss back home.  Everything like this does.  I am already an emotional person.  Music impacts me very much and can easily bring about goose bumps or tears with its power.  While this song reminded me of people I miss back home, it was also very reassuring.  Even though I'm far apart, an ocean apart in fact, I can look up at the sky and know that we share a moon or sun, and know that we are really not that far apart in the grand scheme of things, and that being in each others hearts and on each others minds helps us to stay close.  After 45 minutes of peaceful contemplation and contentment, I decided to get up and leave.  A smile came to my face as I stood up and saw my surroundings.  I am in Paris, the city of my dreams, filled with history, love, beauty, and culture.  I am following my dream, and I am just a phone call away.  I switched my ipod to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, and was so happy to walk to the beat, just like my mom does when she takes her morning walks.  I miss you all.  There are hard times of course, when I want nothing more than to sit on my front porch and drink coffee, but I am so happy to be here.  I love it.  I am on an adventure and have no idea where it will take me.  That is part of the excitement. 

I walked back through the Tuileries Gardens and then entered the Metro at Place de la Concorde.  I love that I live here.  I am speaking French without thinking about it because it is becoming more natural, and I am always excited when a tourist asks me directions and I can actually help them without referring to any map. 

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