Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Reflection and Resilience

I have a new book out this month, but I'll bury that news because today, as I write this, Notre Dame Cathedral is burning.

It's six or eight or nine hundred years old. (Every time I read a headline, it gets older.) I visited it some thirty-five years ago. The fact that I have this photo of this landmark in my weathered old photograph album, with snapshots taken on a film camera, has forced me to take a moment to consider how the loss of such an ancient building in our modern world makes me feel.

I'm not particularly religious, but I feel the magnitude of this event. I feel connected to the millions of people who have glimpsed this touchstone through the centuries. Perhaps you have sat inside its walls for prayer or reflection yourself?

Remember when we had time for such things? When we didn't fill our heads with the next item in the news feed? When we had to wait for our film to be developed to show people what we had seen and done? When we returned from vacation and waited weeks before we turned in our rolls of film to the one-hour developer?

The world has become such a busy, fractured place, yet I found myself talking about this with a lot of different people today. For the first time in a long time the world seems to have all glanced the same direction, paused in a moment of unnatural quiet, and agreed that this is a terrible shame.

It is upsetting, but according to this article on CBC website:
It was ransacked by rioting Protestant Huguenots in the 16th century, pillaged again during the French Revolution of the 1790s, and left in a state of semi-neglect. Hugo's 1831 work led to revived interest in the cathedral and a major "partly botched" restoration that began in 1844.
French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral and says he is seeking international help to restore the Paris landmark.
That's heartening, isn't it? Despite the fact the entire world seems to be burning down on a daily basis (according to my social media feeds) this devastated cathedral continues to symbolize a tremendous resilience. I have no doubt that it will be restored and that the restoration will bring people together in its own way. Believing that brings me a lot of comfort.

How are you feeling about this loss?

Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author Dani Collins thrives on giving readers emotional, compelling, heart-soaring romance with some laughter and heat thrown in, just like real life. Her latest Harlequin Presents, Innocent's Nine-Month Scandal, is on shelves now.

Watch for a related story, Innocent's Pregnancy Revelation, to appear as a free, serialized short story on starting April 22, 2019.


dstoutholcomb said...

I was saddened by the fire and destruction yesterday. Reminds us tangible things in life are easily lost.


kim hansen said...

Wood burned yes,but most of the stone is fine. They were able to save most of the artifacts inside including the organ that almost as old as the church. Time will tell what else was spared. I was glad to hear it is structurally sound the parts that were untouched by fire and Thanks to all those fire fighters who work to save what they could.