The big talk this week has been gas prices, which have hit and risen above the $4 mark in my corner of the world.
This saddens me more than anything, because I know it means curtailed travel for many of us. And that means fewer people will have the chance to taste another culture and sample another culture's food and customs and buildings.
What will that mean for tolerance and understanding?
At the local mall, I passed a table of students collecting for next year's trip to France. I gave them the contents of my wallet (alas, it was not much) and told them I hoped they would love France as much as I do.
I fear that next fall's trip is folly, and may be our last for a while, what with high fuel prices and the diminished dollar. So we have promised ourselves to make the most of it. We will have three nights in Paris and 14 at Chez Bateau.
Will we ever return?
The photo above is the hulking yet elegant St. Eustache near site of the old Les Halles. Surely this spot must be my spiritual home in Paris? I cannot describe what I felt there, just a year ago today.
In looking over my photos from that day, I found this one best illustrated the uplift I felt as we lingered in the garden where the old food stalls once stood. Can you feel the color of the day and the lightness of the air?
It was a perfect moment. So sweet, almost holy.