While a lot of the world maybe hasn't experienced your majesty in person, I have. And I remember it. And when the news headlines flashed up on Twitter and Facebook that you were going down in flames, my heart sank. I sat down and watched the beautiful cathedral that I stood in front of years ago become engulfed in smoke and flames.
I'd been there. I'd experienced it. It can't just go up in flames.
I remember running around in the square in front of Notre Dame when I was about 10 or 11, laughing and screaming when the pigeons came too close for comfort. I remember walking into the cathedral with my family and looking up in awe and stopping, dead in my tracks.
I'd never seen stained glass windows like that before.
I'd never felt God and art and beauty so heavily in one place.
I was quiet, there were no words. I remember almost tiptoeing through the cathedral as if it were too ornate for me to even be inside. I remember lighting a candle in front of a statue and just feeling my faith so so present. I remember spending what felt like an eternity with my eyes raised up to the heavens just taking it all in.
I felt so small. I remember leaving the church and sitting on a park bench right outside the back while my parents and grandparents talked about the history of it all.
It felt like we had just spent an entire day out of this world and in a beautiful, holy place.
Of all the places we went to in Paris, I remember you the most. I don't know if we spent more time there or if you were just so overwhelmingly intricate and beautiful, but it was like the hands of God had created you. So please restore yourself. Come back to us and continue sharing sheer beauty with a world that so needs it. Notre Dame, we love you.