Last week at this time I was rambling through a hillside park next to Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Throngs of people cluttered the steps admiring the views of Paris. I did the same then tramped off looking for quiet. I walked around the to the right and found the loveliest park I hadn't seen before on my last visits up here. Twisting paths and sets of stairs led down the hill. I expected to run into people.
Instead I found faux bois logs poured into faux bois steps leading to…
Surprise, faux bois railings! A veritable fake wood paradise! A Parisian cat posse were having a meeting on the stairs.
I stood under a canopy of green with tall groves of apartment buildings clustered along the edges.
Windows opened and closed. Balconies waited for their owners to arrive home from errands, or work, or walks.
I know it seems like it's all I did in Paris – wander through parks and stare at pretty things. Listen to birds. Think about how plants grow. It's true. That's what I did. I would like to go back right this second and do it for another month. I wouldn't get bored. I love cities. Getting small glimpses into other lives. Listening to busses roar past. Metro doors spring open and snap back closed. Small wooded spaces to rest and drink in the sun. Each person tilting back on their own axis, making their own rotations, taking trips.
Next time I go to Paris I will endeavor to write down the names of the parks I visit.
Or at least take photos of the signs. I went to so many. Suzanne and I thought we should make each other felt girl scout badges for each place we visited. Museums for her and parks for me. Plus I'd like another one for Metro & Bus lines. Imagine little handstitched applique badges with big numbers on them. Um. wow. that'd be cool!
I've been sort of stunned all week. Like a bird that flies into a window. Working life is a real shocker. I haven't had the luxury of staring into space while I gather my wits about me which is my usual adjustment strategy upon returning from a holiday.
My school is changing to a traditional calendar next year. We'll have summers off like most schools in other parts of the country. Instead of 2 – 6 week breaks I'll have 1 long break in summer. The good news is I'll be going on vacation again at the end of June. But for right now I'm still in Paris. Getting ready to fall asleep on a park bench.