During the year that I lived in Paris, I found a very special refuge. The first couple of days were overwhelming, but somewhere in the first week of my job, I was given a key to the crows nest high on top of the building where I nannied. The roof was large and flat, and as I crawled out of the window that very first time, I knew that I had found a place that be important for that year. It was a place of solitude and socialaztion, reflection and retreat, inspiration and beauty.
I think that approximately 1/10 of my Paris blog posts included a shot of the beautiful vista from my roof or window, but I had always intended to make a collage of the people who were drawn (or dragged . . . over 8 flights of stairs) to the roof. That didn’t happen. But now, over a year and a half later, I am finally doing it.
First, there were the family and friends who visited . . . some whom I knew, and a few who I got to know better when I learned they were passing through Paris and invited them up for the best view of the city.
But the roof also drew my Parisian friends, few of whom take the time on a regular basis to revel in the city that they are blessed to call home. The roof offered us a location for the occasional picnic, tea-time, even a game or two. It offered a site for watching the fireworks on July 14th, or a backdrop for the Soirée Robes Rouges photo shoot.It now seems very far away, that portal that I spent a year passing through continually, and inviting others as well. When I think back on that year, I can’t imagine it without the roof. It offered a respite from the bad days, a place of deliverance where I could be above the city and gain perspective. But it provided as well a backdrop for some of the happiest days, the ones spent with the people I had loved before going to Paris, and the ones I learned to love along the way.