After repeated relapses into chilly February weather, I think Paris is finally settling into the warm June days that one expects. The sun is up by not long after 6 and stays light till 10. When I walk to the train station in the morning there is that delicious hopeful feeling that comes with early summer, that excitement of leaving without a coat, and the joy of warm morning sunshine. By August, we leave in the morning already wilted and hot, but in June, the warmth is still thrilling. By late afternoon, it can be uncomfortably hot, but this is forgiven in June because we have long been ready for it. My room receives steady and direct sunshine between 4 and 8. There is no place to step out of way of the rays that come streaming through the one wide window, thus I have discovered that I can actually lay out inside my room. One of the mini perks of economy sized lodging.
Yesterday Emma and I, forever on the quest to find Paris’ best salon de thé, trekked out to the Bois de Boulogne, having heard a rumor that there was a tearoom in the Bagatelles garden. There is not, in fact, but we were still able to take in the beauty of Bagatelles’ rolling hills (yes, you may sit on the grass), flowers, and most wonderfully – peacocks. They wandered across the lawns with the grace and self-awareness that comes inherently accompanies possession of the most rapturous train of colorful feathers. At one point, one especially striking bird strutted in between us and two other garden goers and all four of us just stood in silence, too in awe to even get out our cameras.
Later that evening I wandered slowly home through central Paris, this rambling path being on of my favorite walks. I relish June mornings, I soak in sunny June afternoons, but nothing restores the soul like an early summer evening. Sometime long after the sun has passed its zenith the day reaches its most perfect moment. Even the tourists that now fill the city calm a bit and you find people standing still on bridges, reclining along the Seine, or walking slowly through the gardens. The twilights of early summer are sweet and promising. They make us forget that they will eventually fade to darkness, make us forget to do lists, or obligations. June evenings offer an escape from time, a moment where the clocks of our busy lives stop.
As I crossed the Seine I stopped in front of a man playing guitar on the bridge. He was singing the type of wistful poignant songs that are meant for such evenings, and I sat on the bench for a long while before even touching my camera. Across from me a couple in matching striped shirts leaned closer to each other and listened. A mother hugged her children close and rocked with the music. Even a Michael Jackson impersonator (I am assuming, based on the Thriller-esque red leather jacket, black leather pants, and signature one glove) slipped onto the other end of my bench to listen. Every person on their way somewhere else, hypnotized by the golden summer glow and sweetly melancholy music. Every one of us had somewhere else to be, but on June evenings, you find it hard to remember where that was, and even harder to care.