Notre-Dame at Night

Thursday, June 18, 2020

We managed to see Notre-Dame on our last night in Paris. I had visited it years before as a college student, but that felt like a long time ago. We approached it by crossing a bridge from Île Saint-Louis, the custardy taste of mille-feuilles still in our mouths, and then passed by a long partition. This time around Notre-Dame was both an iconic attraction, an 850-year-old sacred site, and a construction zone. When we reached the front and crossed the street where suddenly the chatter of people and blare of traffic were louder, there she was lit up in nearly all her glory. It was simultaneously magical and heartbreaking because we got to see Our Lady, and I was able to see it again after all those years, but it was post-fire and the spire and roof were gone. Still, I stood in the crowd and soaked it all in because I knew I wouldn’t be back for a long, long time—also heartbreaking.