Fire at Notre-Dame

I was deeply distressed when I heard of the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris but very relieved that no one was injured and that the structure wasn’t a total loss.  I was privileged to have visited the cathedral some years ago.  This may sound strange but what left the greatest impression on me wasn’t the luminous stained glass Rose Windows or the amazing flying buttresses or even the sinister Gargoyles.   What I remember most was the spiral stairs that lead to the bell towers.

As I climbed those steps, worn and discolored with time, I was cognizant of the fact that they were set in place eight hundred years ago.   Those very stones were three centuries old when Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean.  They were six hundred years old when Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence.  The history was palatable, you could feel it in the air.  Is it any wonder that the French are annoyed when we Americans come to Paris and expect them to understand and speak English?   

I was glad to read that Notre-Dame will be restored to its former glory.   But I’m concerned that, no matter how much care is taken, something intangible may be lost.  Thank you to the firefighters and first responders who saved what remains. 

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