Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette by Auguste Renoir
I have been back home one month today. Rich Paris memories are still being savored. London has recovered from a somewhat critical review in comparison to the City of Light…unfair I guess. My global citizenship has been enriched and the proof is stamped in my passport.
I have a deepening appreciation for the French culture. Their self-direction and joie de vivre (joy for life) inspires me. I think I better understand London’s struggle to hold on to their proper, somewhat stodgy traditions while being inundated with immigrants from places built in sand.
My mind has been expanded, and I like knowing it won’t ever return to its original dimensions. Plus, smack in the middle of being amazed, inspired, renewed, and exalted, I accidentally learned more about myself.
Since my return to reality (something similar to the thud of Dorothy’s spinning house landing on the Wicked Witch of the East), I have longed to share the details and discoveries of this adventure with Mom. Her absence feels once again like the big, monstrous void.
Mom was my touchstone. She knew where I came from. After all, Cove is a place too small to even be called a hamlet. But she also understood how far away your dreams can take you, and how brave you have to be to follow them. I think she would be proud of me. I know she shared some of my longing to see more of the world.
In 2008, after my first trip to Paris, it was Mom who wanted to hear every detail. Even though her health struggles were only beginning, I saw them as temporary, and promised her that once she was feeling better, we would go back….together. I knew that once she saw Paris, she would fall in love as I did.
This trip, standing at the Musee d’Orsay admiring the paintings of Renoir that Mom loved so much (like the one above), I ached for her to be there beside me and I fought back tears for all I know will never be.
It is too late to share the world with her now. The stories I saved to tell only her will have to remain tucked away in my heart. I carry her dreams though and her unfulfilled wanderlust…
I believe that in every new place I find myself, part of Mom is there with me.