Paris was all at once everything I imagined, and an absolute dream. From the way an impeccably chic commuter would head home with a fresh baguette tucked under her arm, to the lavish, gilded grandeur of the Opéra Garnier. Clusters of friends would chat at corner cafés for hours, and as daylight faded, the skies over the Seine evoked the ease of a watercolor painting. It is easy to see why artists of many mediums, from Degas to Dior—found inspiration here.
A moment in Paris changed my life, when my husband surprised me with a proposal after 9 years together, on a quiet May morning at sunrise on the Trocadéro steps. We’d been rushing around this new city trying to do ‘all the things’—from practicing our French over café au laits to climbing the stairs of classic monuments to find the best views—but with the cherry blossoms and wisteria trees in full bloom all around and the splendor of the city before us, it was an instance I wish I could live in forever.
Walking to a nearby café to celebrate, we strolled past another couple lying down on the cobblestones. Their feet were dangling over the Seine, their hands intertwined, and their gazes locked. My heart was full at the sight—the love of two beings, both quietly monumental and passionately true. We stayed out on the Champ De Mars that night, sipping champagne until the last of the Eiffel Tower’s sparkling lights dwindled into the magic of the stars. Never have I felt more certain that life is a collection of fleeting moments like these, and if we are lucky, we get to create something everlasting from them.