Ever since I was a little girl, I was always enthralled by the splendors Paris had to offer; it's safe to say I'm a giant Francophile. Though I've never had the pleasure of setting foot in The City of Lights, I always dream of experiencing that magic someday. There are so many landmarks in Paris that I'd love to see, The Champs Élysées, The Louvre, The Moulin Rouge - but one landmark in particular always had a special place in my heart, Notre Dame.
Call me pathetic, but my earliest introduction to the cathedral was in Disney's adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel. I identified with Quasimodo as a little girl; I was an ailed child always in and out of the hospital, a complete outcast. My only way to experience the world was by staring out my bedroom window or using my vivid imagination. I still cry when I sing along to Out There (and yes, I cried again pulling this video).
When news broke that she [Notre Dame] was burning, I cried in front of my television like I lost someone very close to me. The pain of watching my hopes and dreams of seeing her someday go up in flames was excruciating. To me, she's more than just an old building, or a romanticized fragment of my childhood. Notre Dame is testament to hope, and the bounds of obstacles humanity has overcome during times of strife.
I'm incredibly thankful that there is high hope that she will be rebuilt; reborn from the flames that sought her destruction. The fact that this all occurred during Holy Week, with Easter fast approaching is no coincidence in my opinion. I may no longer be a Catholic, or subscribe to any religion, but Easter is a time of resurrection, not just by the biblical sense, but in everything else around us. For Notre Dame, she will be resurrected more radiant than ever.
The Ole Girl is still there. If she can withstand centuries of war, coronations and funerals of royalty and witness bloody revolutions, a fire is sure as hell not gonna do her in. Even if she may be different when she's back, the fact of the matter is her spirit will still be there. After all, The Notre Dame we know today wasn't the same Notre Dame Victor Hugo knew.
Hopefully by the time I can ever afford my dream trip to Paris, Notre Dame will be ready for me. God, I sure hope the tour guides have the tissues ready 'cos there will be lots of waterworks by moi.