Hi! I'm Katie! I can't tell you how grateful I am you are willing to stop by the blog! It's my deepest desire to capture tangible love and share it with a world thats in desperate need of its reminder. I hope you leave here inspired by so many love stories and encouraged knowing that you too are dearly loved.
I’ve thought about this post for a while now and still I don’t really know how to put it into words. It was one year ago that my husband, a few friends and I traveled to Paris, the city of light. I could leave it be and simply show you images of our travels, but there is so much more that lies behind the images.
The city of light, named that not because of physical lights (about every city in America has it beat), but rather the place in which the culture has an impactful presence on the rest of the world. A title that rang true that very day on January 7, 2015.
I had only read about it’s beauty in my art history class and dreamt about walking it’s streets one day. Never could I have imagined that visiting Paris would happen so early in life. My husband wasn’t kidding when he use to tell me we’d travel the world together one day.
Honestly, it was bitterly cold. We couldn’t seem to layer on enough clothing to rid ourself of shivers and sniffles. Europeans live life outside and walk most places, but the streets were largely quiet aside from a handful of sidewalk cafes. Regardless, it was the only time we could make Paris work and we didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity.
Living in Orlando and working at the Magic Kingdom I’ve seen the dazed look tourist get as they blissfully take in their surroundings. I call it “vacation mode”. You know, the kind where a family stops in front of you to discuss where they are going while taking up the entire street. Well…that was us. We traveled from landmark to landmark soaking up every ounce we could. My expectation of the less than friendly attitude of typical Parisians were quickly changed as we were treated with warm smiles and friendly conversations. We finished our evening in front of the sparkling Eiffel tower followed by a delicious meal at a nearby cafe. It was empty though. Too empty. Again, life is lived outside in Europe so it seemed odd that there were just a few individuals out and about.
It was the moment our cell phones hit the wifi in our hotel rooms that we were bombarded with text messages and missed calls. Immediately we knew something was wrong. We turned on the TV to witness the terror that had taken place just under 5 kilometers from where we stood earlier that day. Speechless. We sat in silence for sometime until the news stations concluded that the individuals whereabouts remained unknown.
Typically, the biggest question one faces during a vacation is where are they going to eat next. Instead we sat there discussing the value of potentially risking our lives to witness a city we had dreamt about, a place we might never see again. This versus returning to the safety of our German flat and the assurance that the borders were still open. It’s a moment so thick and memorable in my mind that I feel as though I can still reach out and touch the crisp bedsheets that laid beneath me. My body for the first time felt intensely warm since arriving in Paris and my heart was beating its way outside my chest. All the while I could only think that I had been blessed with another day to make that heavy decision.
The reality is that I know that each day is not a guarantee. I know that I have a greater risk of moving heavenward behind the wheel of my car than the streets of Paris. I know that there are individuals who face far greater turmoil each and everyday simply because they were born into it’s mess. The refugees are living proof of such lives. But there was still a level of responsibility that needed to be taken into account before stepping outside our hotel room. With that in mind, we knew the best way to fight was to keep living.
Now our trip wasn’t all heavy, but if you’ve ever watched Inside Out (which I highly recommend) you know that memories can sometimes be both happy and sad. It’s what I see at when I look these images. Both beautiful and dark, stunning and heavy, dreamy and surreal. It’s a moment that spurred on a heavy leaning into the arms of my sweet savior knowing He was and is the only place of true refuge. I hope one day to return to the city of light.