Mon cœur saigne pour Notre Dame
Last night was probably one of the most shocking and upsetting moments in Paris, in France and in History. Our Lady, the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris had sadly caught on fire, a fire so big it has taken many hours for the pompiers to put out (the fire reportedly started at around 7 pm and the pompiers were still battling on at 3:30 am). As soon as the news broke, we gathered around the living room and stared helplessly at the TV screen as every major channel reported on the incident. The moment the spire collapsed, everyone gasped in despair and disbelieve. It’s crazy to think that I literally walked pass this gothic building the day before but since I’ve already been several times it didn’t occur to me to go in for a visit, a visit that would have been the last ever before the tragedy. For all the times I visited the monument, I was left speechless and in awe of its magnificence, always stepping out with a greater sense of relief, peace and goosebumps on my arms than when I first went in. Every time I walked past it or get a glimpse of it from across the river Seine, I felt immensely grateful to be living in this city.
Seeing it for the first time after the fire this afternoon was heart-wrenching. It sounds dramatic and as a non-Parisian, it might seem a little pretentious to say this, that I have no right to feel such intense sadness (I honestly didn't realise how devastating this would be for me when it first happened) but Notre Dame has not only embodied many years of history and culture, it has also been a place, a symbol that reminds me of how lucky I am to be living here, how being in Paris is not just a dream but something concrete, something that I have earned for myself. The first decision I have made for me.
But just like that, 800+ years of history, of hopes and dreams was burned down in merely a few hours. It's been a sad, sad day for Parisians and everyone who has had the privilege of setting foot inside the Cathedral and be touched by its overwhelming beauty.
The French government has set up an official fundraiser to raise money to restore the still beautiful Notre Dame. Click here to donate.
For the latest news update on Our Lady, click here to find out more.