Midnight In Montmartre

And there we were, you and I,
Standing on top of Montmartre.
It was the view that brought us here.

Told that we could see all of Paris from the hillside neighborhood.
During the day, the view is unimpressive, cluttered and stressful.
Building upon building, and dirty rooftops as far as the eye can see.
But at night, everything changes.
Like a fairy sprinkling magic pixie dust at sunset, the twinkling city was brought to life.
In awe, I captured the moment not on my camera, but in my mind.
Towering behind us is the infamous Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.
Not just any Roman Catholic church, it’s strong yet delicate with beautiful white domes and Roman arches that look like pipings of whipped cream.
I lingered a bit in it’s artistic beauty.

There was a village adjacent to the Sacre-Coeur sitting atop the Montmartre neighborhood.
Enticing us to come closer, the aroma of sweet Nutella crepes filled the night air.
Dainty string lights twinkled like fireflies in the branches above.
Dim, orange-hued lamp posts lined the cobblestone streets.
Mystery and romance surrounded us .
Such a beautiful neighborhood, every corner, nook and crany felt like it had a story to tell.
Stories of  heartbreak, drunkenness, and perhaps danger.
Stories of lives once lived.
Right now we are living our story, walking slowly, hand in hand through the village. Although it has been seven years, it felt like a first date.
Most of all, it felt like a moment in time that had long passed.
A time when Picasso walked the streets,
When Hemingway wrote in cafes.
A time when they called Paris home.
And I wondered if they knew that their work would still be appreciated today.

Despite the hour hand striking midnight, the village was full of life and creative energy,
Modern day artists in black cloaks, some painting and others searching for their next muse, easels in tow.
Violin notes singing through the air, carrying a sad, yet hopeful tune.
Street performers wowing audiences with their talents.
I was inspired by it all.  

As it began to drizzle, we cozied up at a corner brasserie with a bottle of Viognier.
Two sisters both with fiery red hair and blue dresses danced awkwardly on the cobblestone streets in front of us.
Despite the uncoordinated effort, they didn’t care who watched.
They exuded confidence.
The kind of confidence I seek.

The carefree sisters were smiling and laughing while their parents beamed with joy.
“How embarrassing,” I thought, before realizing it was my own insecurities and fears. Watching the family was a glimpse into our future.
A couple traveling with kids.
A family.
It was uncomfortable.
I didn’t want to watch, but I couldn’t take my eyes away, sipping wine nervously.

Eventually, discomfort was replaced with a surprising feeling of joy.
“Maybe having kids wouldn’t be so bad,” I thought quietly to myself.
“Surely that’s the Viognier talking, not me.”

I quickly shifted back to the vibrant scene around me.
I saw the art, felt the music and inhaled the scent of Nutella crepes.
Realizing I want more Montmartre in my life.
I want to paint.
I want to slow down. To enjoy the process of creating a meal.
I want to write more creatively.
I want to dance without a care in the world, just as the sisters taught me moments earlier.

I came to Montmartre without much expectation. Maybe a view and a photo.
Unexpectedly, I left with much more,
An awakened inspiration for life.

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