You take a moment when you can. I tend to find mine in cafes. Up at the bar I shoot back an espresso, or if I find time I sit down and savour a big cafe creme.
Yesterday I sat in a cafe at the feet of the hilly Buttes de Chaumont park. When I walked in the owner smiled at me, elated. He told me I could read any of the books covering the walls. I found my favourite food magazine, ordered my coffee, and got comfortable.
When I had finished my coffee he approached me with a big smile. "I would love to offer you something else! Fresh orange juice? Something to eat?" I paused. "I would really love another coffee!"
He graciously didn't charge me for my second cup, and when I finally walked out told me it was a pleasure to serve me and to come back soon. It was a perfect Paris moment.
Afterwards I joined my co-worker on top one of the hills, and we sat and meditated while the grey clouds split and the sunshine took over the sky.
In many ways I am enjoying being here more than I could have ever expected. There are many moments of exhaustion and frustration, but overall I feel happy, loved, and incredibly grateful.
With everything that's happened in my life recently I am most blown away by how big my world has become. I've realized that when you walk out into life with an open heart and mind the world offers itself to you. No one is a stranger. People you don't know can feel like family in a short amount of time.
I feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by the team of people here. The kids and my co-workers fill my days with big grins, laughter, bad jokes and unfiltered conversation. A young woman I work with told me that my positive energy and good spirit attracts all of this. It was one of the nicest compliments I've received.
So with Paris as a backdrop I'm finding myself again. Sometimes in a moment of exhaustion in a group of people, sometimes in an intimate conversation with a new friend, and often in the quiet moments I take to myself to reflect.