I can be clingy at times.
For better or worse, my tendency is to cling to thoughts, expectations, emotions. Letting go is difficult because change brings on uncertainty, and uncertainty doesn’t feel safe.
And yet, if there’s anything that watching the stately Notre-Dame aflame teaches us, it’s that nothing remains untouched by time and happenstance, not even the 850-year-old symbol of a country.
In our lifetimes, the cathedral has been a steady fixture. And yet, if you consider its history, Notre-Dame has undergone many changes. Modifications by French kings, damage during the Huguenot riots and French Revolution. Repurposing, re-consecration, restoration and renovation over the centuries
While it’s romantic to consider Notre-Dame de Paris as a constant through the ages, the reality is that those significant changes have enhanced its character with meaning. And when the unstoppable advance of time transforms the cathedral into rubble, perhaps something even more beautiful will arise from her remains.
I have experienced changes in my own life that I couldn’t have predicted and certainly didn’t want. They have been frightening and even painful, and I increased my suffering by fighting them even after realizing I couldn’t stop them.
But just as there is new growth after a forest fire, with the heat being necessary in some cases to release seeds and allow them to find soil, unpleasant changes in my life have led to new paths. All I have needed to do is let go of the past, accept my new reality and find something even more beautiful there.
And that is where the magic lies.