I have never been a fan of winter, to the extent that I mainly loathe it with a fiery passion which I excessively wish was hot enough to wipe it out completely. Since I have chosen to live most of my adult life thus far in climates far north of the equator, I have to suffer through the changes of season like a big girl. That is to say, I spend my time from December through March bundled up in 25,000 layers of clothing and drinking an abundance of alcohol. It is not until the sun begins to thaw the frozen air that my natural state of freedom and frolicking begin to emerge.
I have not yet found a city that I enjoy in winter, for the sole reason that winter is evil no matter where you are. I tolerate the chill and snow in NYC during Christmastime because it is festive and inspiring and part of the natural progression of life. But once the ornaments have come down around town, I anxiously await the more temperate days of springtime. Paris is no exception. While I believe it a stunning city filled with beauty and charm, it does not escape the shackles of winter that threaten us all with suffocating angst.
That being said, at long last always comes a day when warmth spreads throughout the land and hope returns its glimmering smile. As I have been taking the opportunity (nay, demanding the necessity!) of scheduling days off for myself lately, today I had the entire afternoon to wander where I chose. Last night was of course Saint Patrick's Day (Erin go Bragh!) so, while not out very late, I did spend the morning feeling rather tired and sluggish. Ultimately, I made way to the center of Paris to buy a cheap necklace I recently had my eye on and so sallied forth down Rue de Rivoli, around the Louvre, and through the Tuileries for a refreshing springtime jaunt. I spent some minutes staring out onto the Seine from Pont Neuf, a moment or two gazing up at the Arc du Carrousel, and quite a while people-watching the tourists roaming in the pleasant air.
It was one of those afternoons that reminds you of how wonderful it is to live in a gorgeous city filled with history and architecture and cultural anomaly. One of those days when you feel lucky to have experienced things that transcend your original concepts of normal and familiar. When spring begins to take hold, we all wake up from hibernation to smell the flowers.