We walked out of our hostel just as the sky began to weep.
It was our first day in Paris and we were weary from a long day of traveling.
The hostel was strange, antiquated, but beautiful.
It was several stories high, had balconies that opened up to the rooms, and lush green vines grew all around the outside.
Once we’d settled in, we decided to walk around town, get our bearings, and find something to eat.
But, as we walked out of our hostel the sky began to weep.
The rain fell with such fervor I’m convinced it had been holding in its feelings a bit too long. Like it wasn’t just crying over the way it felt that day, but, it was crying over the pain caused by clouds that had come before these and ones before that. This was a storm of monumental proportions.
With one foot each out from under the safety of the entrance overhang, our hearts sulked in unison. We were hungry and tired and without umbrellas.
Just as we began to discuss our plan we look to the left. Almost rhythmically we began to laugh aloud as we looked down the dark and empty street to see a shining restaurant waiting for us. La Framboise was our lighthouse that night and we laughed and ran to it as Jack Kerouac’s words rang through my head and my heart. “The only people for me are the mad ones…”
I can tell a lot about where I’m at in life by my reaction to getting caught in the rain.
Most of the time I don’t mind it, I embrace the drops on my skin and I’ve come to love the way it frees the curls in my hair revealing their wild nature. Sometimes, I revel in it. I dance and play and laugh and run. I’m reminded of the depths of joy that lay waiting to be exposed.
Occasionally, I run from it. I hunker in fear of it and what it will do to me.
I guess these are the same reactions I have to all of life’s trials.
Either I’m at peace with them, I’m dancing with their challenge, or I hunker down in fear.
That day we ran in celebration and we laughed with adventure in our hearts.
La Framboise became our safe haven. We ate steak, shared a bottle of wine, and watched the drops fall outside. We opened up to each other in a way that felt like light danced between our souls and we were reminded of just how special that trip and the three of us were.
La Framboise, our run in the rain, and the city of Paris was a time where I physically felt what I can only describe as magic. Meaning and significance running through my veins and exploding through my smile and the fervor of my voice. Speaking with gratitude and believing that everything in that moment was orchestrated just for our delight. It wasn’t the first time I felt that way and I hope to feel it many times over, but, that touchstone is something that I run back to.
I may not be in Paris and I may not be running in the rain, or laughing over red wine, but, my heart can dance. My soul can spark a fire that burns burns burns in celebration amidst the most torrential of life’s down pours.
with love and Paris in the rain,