On top of the world


and no desire to come down... just yet.

There's a richness to the deep gray of the dusk sky.  Almost like one of those paint by number kits I used to buy as a child-- too perfect to be real. The bulge of a fire orange cloud drapes the left side of the horizon, the voluminous bundle of its sweeping curves, wrapped as if protecting something within. The edges of the cloud thin, the wisps fading out-- leading the eye to what lies below.

Five months later and the steps of Sacre Coeur remain my favorite spot in Paris: the bird's eye view of the entire city below, breathtaking in all lights of the day. There’s a peace to the atmosphere, how small you feel when on top of the highest point in Paris. There’s always a crowd here-- mostly tourists, typically a singer or two and always the same man playing a game of life v. death with the light pole and his soccer ball.

Tonight, there's a crowd, perhaps a visiting choir, belting their tunes. They're a large group, taking up several rows of stairs to my right. I don't recognize the songs, nor think they're singing in English, but I like the sound of their music.

It's hit me, how little time I have left. How three weeks out of the total six months is nothing. And it's funny, because a month and a bit ago, I felt excited to eventually return to home in the states.  

I had come to Sacre Coeur my first weekend in Paris. Although it doesn't feel like just yesterday. I sense the heaviness of the time that's passed, of the growth and development these five months have produced. I sense the difference in perspective I've gained and the comfort in my surroundings, I've achieved.

After all, it's been five months.

The group's pulled out a guitar, scrapping the choir tunes. A few have gotten up, moving to the bottom of the stairs and encircling the others still seated on the steps. They’re clapping now, swaying to the sound of the melody they're creating. It reminds me of camp, of my summers in Israel.

Those too are chapters of my life that I moved forward from. Moved forwards to try something new. It's what got me to Australia last summer. And it was my internship in Australia that left me with the experience to secure the internship here, in Paris.

I stare at the view ahead-- the limestone of the roofs adding a sheen to the 10 pm, summer dusk sky. The city is shaded a scheme of gray, tinges of oranges and pinks adding a glimmer to the pastel beauty of the setting sun.

I feel the emotions running-- the want to stay, to continue the this that I've started. I wish D.C. and Paris could merge. That all my friends would be in one place, that I could pursue a journalism career wherever. I wish the future were clearer, that time didn’t seem so far off.

But it doesn't work that way.

Still, I'm pulled at both ends. And apparently, not always so good at living for the moment without too much thought of the future.

I hadn't wanted to leave Florida, six months. Nor D.C. five months ago. But to experience the new, you have to move forward. Had I stopped, I would never be here.

When do we stop? When do we know the new isn't waiting, that the here is good and that it’s right to stay?

I think we just know.

I know I'm not at my stopping point. That I’ve got years ahead of me to continue the discoveries, the journey, the new. But the pages of this chapter, they're not  closed just yet. Merely folded over, biding the time to see what may come of the experience.

It’s a haze, the future-- a mix of the exciting and the unforeseen. I want to believe that the good that's meant to be, will follow forward.

Perhaps.

Life has a plan. Trust and patience that it all works out. 

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