When I first arrived in Paris (having just flown in from Vancouver), I was exhausted. I’d navigated Charles de Gaulle enough to get myself to the RER and on into the city. I had my little suitcase on wheels, it was 4 am, I was severely jet-lagged but in the “body is tired but the mind is racing, it should be mid-day but why is it so dark – kind of way” the hostel wasn’t open yet. I wasn’t sure where to go, so I decided to go to Notre Dame, because a cathedral just felt like a safe place to be.
It was just a big looming dark shape. Very gothic, of course, quite imposing. And lucky for me, it was open, or maybe just opened. I went inside and rested my aching body on a pew. And just contemplated the fact that I was where I was, and I was alone.
Then the sun started to make its way to the stained glass windows. At first just hints of shapes, then outlines, then… colours…
If ever I had a religious moment, it might have been then. It was just me and the cathedral. Colours swirling into the chamber and landing by my feet.
A very sacred moment I will always remember.
My advice? Go to Notre Dame if you are jet-lagged. Watch the sun come in through the windows, alone. You will leave a changed person.over 6 years ago