Chicago, Paris and the Cleansing Beauty of Snow

Chicago, Paris and the Cleansing Beauty of Snow
Paris: Young Lovers in the Snow

The forecasters were right. Today there is snow outside my window. The first of the season. It's lovely. Fresh. Clean.


Hidden beneath it is the refuge of fall: broken twigs, clumps of brown leaves. But not for long. Next week it will warm again and the snow will melt. The leaves and twigs will show themselves again. Until the dusting of winter arrives for good.

Today is also the one-week anniversary of the Paris attacks. To mark it, I watched Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris. As the snow whirled outside, I sat back and enjoyed Allen's tribute to Paris.  Watched Owen Wilson walk through her streets, gushing over her. Defending her politics. Rubbing shoulders with players in her heady café society.

Marveling at the beauty of Paris in the rain.

Oddly, it is raining in Paris today. In my mind, it is the soft rain that fell in Allen’s film. A rain designed for lovers. A writer’s rain, for a city that honors the writer in us all. An artist’s rain, able to turn Paris into a gauzy palette of herself.

Next week, the forecast is for the rain to turn to snow in Paris. I've never seen Paris in the snow. To see the city during a gentle snowfall must be a magical site. To walk through it with someone you love, a memory that holds your heart forever.

I can't help thinking that a fresh snowfall in Paris would also conceal painful things: bits of shattered glass between the cobblestones, bullet casings, and drops of blood. Once the snow melts, though, they will still be there for some time to come.

Like the leaves and twigs in my yard.

The difference, of course, is my yard debris is only a minor annoyance. The visual reminders of the terrorist attacks will be more difficult to ignore. But, after watching Midnight in Paris, I am more convinced than ever of the resilience, kindness, and strength of the French people. Their playfulness. Their love of life.

I believe in them.

And someday soon, I intend to walk through peaceful Paris streets in the snow with the one I love.

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