A Devastating Loss

Paris was on my dream destination list for more than 30 years. And I finally got there last year. One of the first places I went to was Notre Dame. I walked down the same aisles that millions of others have walked. I photographed the beautiful stained glass windows, just as millions of others have done. And just as millions of others have probably done, I sat on a church pew and took in the scale and grandeur of the building. Throughout the ages, how many people sat in the same place as me and watched a marriage? Watched a baby being christened, or mourned to loss of a loved one?  

Interior of Notre Dame, Paris, France

I was stunned and incredibly sad to see fire tear through the roof and spire of Notre Dame cathedral. Notre Dame was such an incredible cathedral. Its construction started in the 12th century and it took almost 300 years to complete. For hundreds of years, it stood to watch over history. From the Crusades to the French Revolution and through two World Wars. From the medieval age to the digital age.

I’m relieved to know that as of this point, there are no deaths associated with the fire. But the loss of art is devastating.

Notre Dame Art, Paris, France

Change is Inevitable

We sometimes take for granted that wonders of the world will always be here to visit and enjoy. We think one day we will get around to visiting this place or that place. This fire is a hurtful reminder that nothing lasts forever. We should go and enjoy while we can because change is inevitable.  And we usually do not have the luxury of knowing when it’s going to happen.  I planned to be in Paris this summer and I had planned to return to Notre Dame.  I wanted exterior shots at sunrise or sunset.  Unfortunately, this is not to be.

Notre Dame Cathedral has been in disrepair before. It was damaged and neglected in the 1790s, during the French Revolution. Throughout its 800-year history, several restoration efforts occurred. We can only hope that from the ashes Notre Dame will rise again.

Stained Glass, Notre Dame, Paris, France

7 thoughts on “Tears for Notre Dame”

  1. Michelle, Your pictures are breath taking. You captured the true beauty of Notre Dame. Thanks for capturing these pictures.

  2. Deborah Stevenson

    Beautiful pictures and we often take for granted that things, places and people will always be there.

  3. Well said, Michelle. I never got to Paris to see it, and was planning to next May as part of a job as a photography instructor aboard a river cruise! Yes, change is inevitable, and even with plans for the ‘future’, you never know whether the things you want to experience will be there when you finally get to going…

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