Butterflies in the stomach

We were at the Louvre today. I finally realised that the only time I can go a bit crazy is when Raphaël is at nursery and I am alone with Francesco. He’s one year old and still fits into the baby carrier, so we can take the metro and explore. What a wonderful companion he is! How amazing to look at those ancient statues and to see him mimicking their postures! What a joy to see his enthusiasm for an exquisite arab carpet! And how fun it is to play stars with dozens of Asian tourists fighting to get a picture of my blue-eyed, gold-haired beauty! (hi hi!)

After spending a wonderful day in the Jardins du Luxenbourgh last Saturday, celebrating the first birthdays of my son and another sweet girl, and after today's escapade to the Louvre, I cannot deny anymore that Paris gives me butterflies in the stomach.

I have had a love/hate relationship with Paris for the last ten years. I have always appreciated the architectural and urban beauty of what so many call the most beautiful city in the world. But I have never been able to "connect with it." I have never really felt like a part of the amazing mix of marble and ashlar, water and smog, pebbles and grass, leaves and clouds, yellows and greys, Gucci bags and beggars’ tents. I always felt somewhat intimidated and "aside."

If Paris were a baby, I would be the kind of mum who knows she must love her precious creature immensely, but somehow cannot FEEL the love. This morning, it finally hit me. If I want to bond with Paris, I just need to give it time. I just need to open up. Instead of judging every element and frantically searching for this hidden love, why don't I just let the city pour into my eyes, my ears, and my skin? I needed to be open without waiting for anything in return. Leave the untidy home, cancel all appointments, switch off the mobile phone (hence no pictures of us at the Louvres today), and just take time for what I really care about. In other words, I needed to make space for love. Not force it, not look for it, and not even wait for it. I just needed to trust it was there and give it time to come to the surface.

And sure enough, the butterflies arrived!

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