le coup de foudre

That’s “Lightning Strike” in French.  It’s usually used to mean “I’m falling in love!”  “J’ai le coup de foudre!”  I’m in Paris for the first time in almost 40 years — a trip I’ve yearned to make again for all those years.  And , here I am, with Nancy, falling in love with this rich and beautiful city.  Everything has changed in that time, and yet everything is still the same, except that most retail employees know considerably more English than they did way back then.  And they seem friendlier.  In that intervening time, I remember  a lot of  French, but I’ve lost my French sharpness and pace.  That will come back with practice.

What  am I falling in love with?

First, the food.  The flavors are so rich, in all categories — strawberriess, butter, breads, potatoes — even yogurt!  Every tidbit is a feast —  I don’t think I was so very  aware of flavors when I went back to the US at age 25!

And the elegance and beauty of all the visual surroundings. Our hotel room is on the 7th floor, with a balcony right next to the immense Pantheon, high enough so we can also see across the city to Sacre Coeur atop its hill.

Today was an awesome day.  We had no plans, but just wandered out of the hotel, discovered perfect narrow streets wnd elegant squares just  a block away.  We went about 5 blocks, and had a wonderful lunch at a cafe — chicken en brochette for me,  and foie gras for Nancy.  We shared a green salad, and  a bottle of fizzy water.  Then we strolled in the gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg, ate some of the richest hand made sorbet I’d ever tasted, and finally we strolled home, after a beautiful day.

I felt delighted and serene, and realized that I’m falling in love with Paris.

About Rev. Rosemary Hyde, Ph.D.

I am a grandmother, a classical homeopath, a mystical poet, and an interfaith minister. I also have a large, enduring place in my heart for Paris. I first spent time in Paris in 1961, as a Fulbright scholar. I remained in France for three years, living also in Toulouse and in Nancy. I have revisited France and Paris multiple times since then, and have come to know central Paris reasonably well. I grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where there were many Franco-Americans, and their language fascinated me. I was fortunate in 6th grade, when my family moved, to find myself in a Catholic French speaking girls' school, where I had the wonderful fortune of becoming bilingual. It still feeds my soul deeply, to visit Paris, speak French, and reconnect with the little French girl in me. I am serving presently as co-minister at Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill, NC. I give talks one or two Sundays a month -- please go to the website, www.unitychapelhill.org, and sign up for the weekly e-news to learn what's going on -- special events, seasonal interfaith ceremonies, and Sunday themes and talks. My vision for the Unity Chapel Hill ministry and for myself is to become a loving, uniting presence in the lives of all those who cross paths with us. That's all there is, really -- loving presence. And so it is. Amen. My goal as a minister is to add richness to life for those who resonate to more than one religious tradition or to none -- those with mixed religions as well as the unchurched, untempled, and unmosqued. All of us, whatever our cultural allegiances, hunger for and need support in finding the transcendent joy that's ours to find in this earthly life. All of us need and want to celebrate beautifully the great and small milemarker moments. All of us crave the beauty of prayer as an expression of our participation in universal love. All of us wish to learn a greater vision, to see our lives opening to the Divine. All of us desire deeply to find serenity and peace that lasts no matter what happens today and tomorrow. This is the meaning of Transcendessence. We find the essence of spirit and transcend the narrow constraints of our bodies and egos. Join us today by subscribing, so you won't miss a single poem, message, prayer, or meditation.
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One Response to le coup de foudre

  1. Ardie Heape says:

    You are also making it a reality for your friends, family, fans, readers, to fall in love with Paris just through your beautiful words. I can almost taste & smell as well as see such a lovely experience. Thank you dear friend for sharing such a wonderful and special day.

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