“Particularly, I remember the winters in Paris- not with pleasure, not with displeasure- just the blank expressions, meaningless but powerful, of the hushed, intense cold that lay over the Seine in the early morning, the lavender-grey daylight filtered down from the damp sky at noon; even on clear days the useless, impossibly distant, small sun up there above.”- Paul Bowles
Initially, I was worried about moving to Paris in the winter- I feared I would be freezing, unable to meet others, and was especially dismayed when I realized the nights were far longer than in Philadelphia due to the higher latitude. The constant grayness and its effect on me only strengthened my suspicions that I might have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I took me a while to realize realize that winter would help me deepen my appreciation of the City of Lights- the contrast of the cold darkness made each dazzling light more brilliant, especially the holiday decorations adorning nearly every street in December. Each bulb was a tiny sun, a glimmer of something greater, reminding me that each day, a little more sun would return, and that I really needed to get to work before I become distracted by the brightness and warmth of the spring.
I took in any light I found, but followed the natural rhythm of the season, turning inward, but letting the beauty around me stoke my inner fire. This ended up being a very good thing- like many before me, I listened to the weather and was driven inside, to cafes and to my cozy apartment, where I really began to dive a little deeper. I wrote more, I read more, I practiced guitar, and I painted- all with a new-found introspection.
Thank you, winter in Paris- despite not producing a single snowflake, you gave me time to become more introspective, cultivate new ideas, make art, play music, and find such inspiration and warmth in moments of beauty and light. I’m very excited to see what spring will bring.