You hear them before you see them.
Coming through the Square Samuel Rousseau, winding past the chestnut trees and rose gardens, the laughter and cheers of the neighborhood children playing soccer on the parvis before the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde urge you on. Their unrestrained joy is infectious.
I’m careful every time I pass to stay on the sidelines, but sometimes I have to hop and hurry to stay out of the way of play.
I pass these games often because the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde is part of my usual circuit. It’s across the street from the Franprix where we stop most often for groceries, and, when we do, I take the chance to visit the church to light a candle.
Back in Paris after four months in the States, we’re finding that, despite the lockdown, life here continues as we left it.
That’s one of my favorite things about this city. It cycles through the year, season by season, reliably. In today’s world, especially, the permanence is a comfort.
Masks are de rigueur, but no one seems to mind. You can’t dine in at restaurants, but many are set up for takeaway and you can order almost any kind of food you might have an appetite for online for delivery.
Amazon.fr delivers anything else of any description you could possibly need day to day… usually within 24 hours.
Large events aren’t happening… and you can’t get your hair cut… but our two favorite pastimes—long walks along the river and afternoons in nearby parks—remain ever available.
We’ve been sheltering in place but did venture out yesterday afternoon for a physically distanced reunion with our granddaughter, born here in Paris earlier this year. Our daughter and son-in-law brought her to see us—if masked and from a few meters away—at Les Invalides…
The French government allows us an hour outdoors each day, to run errands or simply take the air, and ours yesterday passed far too quickly… but I’ll take an hour a day out and about in central Paris over any multiple of that most other places we could be right now.
Lief and I intend to stick around through the holidays. If in-country travel is allowed, we and the kids will be spending Christmas in Chamonix.
If not, no problem. Christmas in Paris will do just fine.
Founding Publisher, Overseas Opportunity Letter