Rising From The Ashes: Notre Dame
As I work on my upcoming blog post about how Studying Abroad Changed The Whole Course of My Life, I couldn’t concentrate. The place that had forever changed my life had been on fire this past week. And as I’m a continent away, I feel it.
I watched as this miraculous Cathedral built over the span of 182 years was on fire, praying that it was by accident, praying that no one was inside. This Cathedral has been a part of Paris since the beginning—building all of Paris around this Holy Place.
If you haven’t seen it, and I don’t know how you haven’t. You can click here to see some CNN’s reports : Notre Dame Cathedral Spire Collapses
As I sat in my cubicle having the live feed streaming while I worked, I wept. The tragedy felt among nations on nations, being one of the most visited landmark in Paris. One of the oldest landmarks. Notre Dame has stood tall during two world wars, the French Revolutions (1789, 1830, 1869).
The Eiffel Tower is my favorite place in the entire world, Notre Dame is close behind. Just looking at the marvelous architecture and being in the sacred spot, always let me feel that I was home. As we stayed in Paris, our apartment was about 6 blocks away, and when you have your windows open you could hear the Gregorian Chants and the bells ringing; pop out on the balcony and you could see the bell towers. Anytime I heard them, I just knew I was home. That when I hear Church Bells, I picture myself standing out on the balcony and just looking at them.
People all over the world have come together to try and rebuild it. Unfortunately, this has become very controversial. People are saying that Jesus would want us to help the poor, help the homeless, help the people who really need it and not a Church. While I’m sure everyone can agree with these statements, people help others rebuild their homes. Rebuild their neighborhoods, their cities, their hearts. The kindness to rebuild a culture. To rebuild the faith. Showing that the historical monument may have been destroyed, but the people’s faith in it, rises like a phoenix.
It will never be the same. The roof frame will never be made of French Oak Trees again. The history of the architecture will not be the same. And those that have planned their trip to Paris, will never have the experience of going inside to see it. As the years go by and the rebuilding begins, we will all wait to see what begins. What art work will it hold? What artifacts of faith will be available for all of us? Will it be repaired in our own lifetime? Will it still be a piece of brilliant architecture?
My heart is broken. I want to return to my happy place, just one more time and see it as it once was. To see it in the glory that it had been for the past 645 years.