today, my heart hurts.
today, notre dame is burning.
that cathedral plays the biggest part in my path in the most unexpected way.
in 2013, i was lucky enough to be able to visit that glorious building and witness it for myself.
i was also still coming to terms with my full break from a religion i’d grown up with to a new one that is against everything i had been taught.
i remember standing in front of the famed entrance in awe, nervous, a new pagan, and thinking, “am i even welcome? will she accept my presence or will she reject me and i’ll have to leave?”
i walked through the great, ancient doors and i didn’t know what to do, so i followed the crowd around the path.
i was shaking, i was so scared and frightened and i was half convinced everyone knew that i, a pagan, had no place there.
but then, the bells, those glorious, eons old bells tolled.
i was suddenly swept up in such a peaceful feeling of “i accept you, you’re welcome here, be well and good” that i burst into tears.
the building, the living breathing entity of history and time had reached out to me and, instead of chasing me away like i feared, welcomed me with open arms.
i, to this day, have never felt so peaceful in my life.
i stopped in front of the great, stained glass windows and i looked up, and i breathed.
on my way out, after taking it all in and just… being, i made my way to the doors again, only this time, i reached out and touched the stone walls and trailed my fingers along them.
i can still feel them.
so, as she burns to the ground, my heart is broken and heavy and so, so very thankful.
to notre dame, may she be rebuilt and continue to be a beacon of hope and comfort for eons to come.