Drizzle in Paris

29 May

 

Decisions on a dreary day.

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Amsterdam was my original destination. I was honored to be part of a think tank on how to effectively use new media formats to communicate better. Being in Africa, this isn’t the kind of commission in which I normally would expect to be a participant. Afterwards, this close to my dad, who lives and works with the church in Paris, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get in a quick visit.

I arrived on a typical European Tuesday morning. Dreary and rainy. Dad showed up, and we sat and chatted, waiting for traffic to clear. Then we ran around trying to find the pick-pocket who got away with my wallet. Another story for another day. Upon arriving at my parent’s apartment, the day was not turning out well.

But I was in Paris. Now, for many Paris is the City of Love, or the City of Lights. I have been here before, so the novelty is not the same. I do enjoy the city though. Despite first waking at 2:30 AM, despite losing my wallet, despite the weather, I insisted we head into town. Off we went to the Arc de Triomph, the Champs Elysee, and the Eifel tower.

Dreary weather was our constant companion. My pictures all need loads of photoshop to put blue into the sky. I probably don’t have one keeper from the whole day.

But what was my other option? Stay in the apartment. Find the safety of work, of repetition, of boredom and normal. In the Paris, the #1 tourist destination in the whole world. Home of the Mona Lisa, Notre Dame and the Eifel tower, plus history, monuments, and amazing pastries on every corner.

Yet how often do we do just that? I live a short distance from the beach but never go, a morning’s drive from wild animals, a short ferry ride from Zanzibar. What I’ve noticed is that we don’t notice where we live.

Every day is a choice. To see past the drizzle, the dreary, the heat, the misery, to move to discovery. Or to re-see with new eyes.