Though the idea of spring in Paris has certainly captured the attention of writers and songsters to the point where we roll our eyes at the mention of April in the fabled city, there is something there.
I will never forget the first relatively warm day in Paris (I was fortunate to spend my junior year in college there) after wintering under grey skies and wearing black on black relieved only by my dirty white keds and a red plaid scarf for color. On that day, shortly after Easter, I put on a shirt with a lavender floral pattern, a short skirt, and some purple suede flats. I got on the Metro at Michel Ange-Auteuil, changed trains at Odeon, and got off at Chatelet. I emerged into the bright sunlight, uncaring that the temperature was still a touch cool for my short sleeves (I had a sweater, but I’d stashed it in my bag), and I walked. I walked to the river, crossed onto the Ile de la Cite via the Pont Neuf, meandered through the gardens behind Notre Dame de Paris all the way to the Pont St. Louis. I crossed over to the other little island, seeking Berthillon and its famous ice cream. Though, again, it was a touch to cold for glaces, I indulged anyway because I was so eager for the new season, the dazzling sun, and the fresh city. The ice cream was sweet and, well, creamy. The grass in the park was tender and bright. I sat down there, and the new blades prickled my pale, bare legs.
They warmed my heart, that walk and that ice cream. I was ready for a change from dreary winter. And I was not the only one…Bertillon was packed.
So what is it about spring? Paris? Springtime in Paris? Are they mere cliches, or is there something about the emergence of life after winter that calls to us on a basic level? Have you ever taken a walk that changed your outlook?
(photos of Paris from depositphoto.com and flickr.com)