Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SPRINGTIME IN PARIS

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.

16 comments:

Alison H. said...

Vonnie, I've been to Paris and Calvin's wonderful descriptions brought it all back! I was so sorry to hear about his accident but am glad it wasn't more serious. Give him my best.

Vonnie Davis said...

Thank you, Alison, I surely will. He's able to get to the bathroom under his own stream, so progress is being made. Back injuries take a long time to heal it seems. Well, I must go...I have a cat pawing at my cheek for his mid-morning treats.

Vonnie Davis said...

OMG! I meant to say "he's getting to the bathroom under his own steam"...STEAM, ladies...not stream.

Calisa Rhose said...

What a lovely carpet ride, Calvin and Vonnie! Thank you. Hugs to Calvin as he recuperates.

Jannine Gallant said...

My best to Calvin. He painted a beautiful picture of Paris. Thanks for sharing.

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Calisa. He's napping now so I can check in on emails and things. Plus, I'm judging some contest entries and would like to finish them so I can return to my mental world.

Vonnie Davis said...

Calvin has a lovely way with words, Jannine. I envy it. I simply tell stories. He transports and charms.

Jerri Hines said...

Lovely to travel by magic carpet! Sounds like a great way to travel!

Nancy Jardine said...

Calvin's description of springtime in Paris is definitely the inspiration for stories and songs. It's making me gently hum something that reminds me of the Boulevard St. Michel...(perhaps by Sacha Distel?)though I have to say I can't remember the boulevard much since I've only ever spent 4 days in Paris, in early April, about 25 years ago-too little to appreciate all it has to offer!

Vonnie Davis said...

Jerri, glad you enjoyed your magic carpet ride. No excess baggage fees. ;-)

Vonnie Davis said...

Nancy, four days in Paris is never enough. If I were rich, I'd love to live there, sadly our rancher in VA fits our budget better than an apartment in Paris.

glenys said...

Wonderful writing - evoked Paris in my favorite season - Spring! I'm sure I know that cafe in the photo. Ah, happy memories.
You must be very proud of your clever writer husband!

glenys said...

PS - Vonnie - every time I go to your blog,I get this craving for chocolate. Could it be the sweeties in your header pic????

Krissy said...

Great blog, Vonnie! Calvin painted an intriguing picture. Now I want to travel to Paris even more!

Vonnie Davis said...

Glenys, I don't know which I like more, roses or chocolates. Glad you like my blog heading and especially pleased you enjoyed Calvin's description of Paris in springtime.

Vonnie Davis said...

Welcome to Roses of Prose, Krissy. You'll love Pairs, her beauty, her energy, her architecture and her attitude.