We've been talking about Spring in our own little corners of the Universe. I thought I'd share a bit of Springtime in Paris, my favorite city in the world. However I knew my words couldn't measure up to my husband's. You see, Calvin lived there for a year on sabbatical, writing at sidewalk cafes and absorbing French culture. He unashamedly admits Paris is his mistress.
I knew the passage I'd share with you. For I'd read it many times. The one in Calvin's Phantom Lady of Paris, where his hero, also a teacher on sabbatical to write a novel, shares his impressions of Paris. I'm taking the liberty of inserting a few pictures here and there to share the Jewel of the Seine. Allow my husband to take you to Paris on a Magic Carpet ride of words, as I so often say.
Skies sparkled like diamonds, and the fragrance of blossoms was everywhere. Trees on Boulevard Saint Michel transformed into impressionists’ canvasses and in the Luxembourg Garden, flowers dazzled with violet and gold. When you sat on the terrace of a café in Saint Michel Plaza, breezes whispered past, cooling and refreshing. Spring had come.
Latin Quarter inhabitants who hibernated through much of winter reappeared and once again strolled boulevards. All the cafés on Boulevard Saint Germain were now open (many closed during winter months). Once again their terraces bubbled with laughter and conversation. If one paid attention, there were sounds carried on the breeze—the gurgle of wine filling goblets, the pop of champagne corks, and the hiss of espresso machines spewing the aroma of fresh java. It was an aroma that called back memories of Sunday mornings and good times at home. Spring had come.
On Sunday afternoons, couples, their toddlers in hand, strolled Boulevard Saint Michel. Cradling toy sailboats, youngsters frolicked into Luxembourg Garden and as parents looked on, the young dynamos of energy splashed through wading pools, squealing and laughing—orchestrating the sound of youth and immortality. Spring had come.
Gypsies once again panhandled on street corners, their favorite, the intersection at Saint Germain and Saint Michel, where they stopped passersby, glibly spinning tales of “hard times,” and “starving babies,” and the imperative need for a few francs to buy milk and/or medicine for their emaciated, “near-death” children. Translation? “We need money to buy wine.” When Gypsies returned, there could be no doubt, spring had come.
Neighborhood bums reappeared and bought bottle after bottle of vin ordinnaire, drank themselves into stupors, then snoozed away the afternoon. Spring had arrived. It came soon after Bonnie left. Yet springtime in Paris did not delight me, for Bonnie—the woman I loved—was gone.
There you have it: a verbal picture of Springtime in Paris thanks to my husband. Enjoy your Spring day where ever you are.