Look at me!

Three nights ago, I stood alone on the bow of a boat cruising down the River Seine. The wind blew through my hair, and I held my pashmina around my shoulders. I watched as the Eiffel Tower, fully lit, drifted to the background. Forward, Notre Dame loomed. At a restaurant on the Left Bank, fairy lights sparkled, flashed, and danced in the trees overhead. The water glowed from the moon. Paris is, indeed, the City of Lights.

I had returned to a place I never dreamed I would.

This was my first trip abroad without my former spouse. He was a great traveling companion, and I missed him. I thought my overseas traveling days were gone, though in 2013, I renewed my passport. I am, after all, ever the eternal optimist.

Over ten days, I traveled with a diverse group of people who began as strangers and ended as friends. I saw among us a generosity of love, spirit, caring. We were teachers (of course), lawyers, priests, nurses, an infectious disease doctor, a farmer, an accountant, a parish secretary, line dancers, and more.

I learned a lot about moi. I came away a better person. On that boat, that night, in that place, I stood in the midst of my past and my future. I saw who I once was. I saw who I could be.

The wind lifted my hair. The boat came about. The lights on the Tour de Eiffel then flashed and flickered. And I saw who I have become.

Life, look at me!


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