I don’t think any of us could’ve anticipated what April 2020 would be like in Paris (or anywhere). April is always something to look forward to. The days are longer, the light is brighter, and Paris comes alive again after winter. The month marks the beginning of one of the best times to visit and enjoy bth Paris and France. This year, we’ll all experience a different April in Paris.
Today is the first day I’ve woken up during the COVID-19 confinement and felt a bit down. Despite being surrounded by a beautiful blue sky, birds chirping, and knowing that I’m safe here in Normandy, there’s a pit of anxiety in my body. April in Paris will come and go, and likely days and weeks beyond that, and I have no idea when I’ll be back home in Paris.
I know this feeling of anxiety is temporary, as is the current situation. It’s a good wakeup call for me to remember to not take things for granted because nothing is ever guaranteed. Last April, I went inside Notre Dame for the first time in six years because I had friends visiting who wanted to see it. Two weeks later I watched it burn.
What will this different April in Paris look like? I’m sure it’ll be as gorgeous as ever. I’m sure both the Seine and sky will be unusually clear without the constant stream of traffic. Without all of the people and the noise, I’m sure you’ll be able to really hear the birds chirping. Nature in Paris will be in full force.
But what is Paris without all of the people? Without the crowded terrasses and masses of tourists outside museums? Without the impeccably dressed old man having a Sunday morning café au bar and the constant stream of people moving and going and doing? It’s hard to imagine. I only caught a tiny glimpse of this empty Paris before leaving for Normandy, but it’s not a way I want to remember Paris.
So, for this different April in Paris, I’m trying to remember regular Aprils in Paris. I normally don’t like random people or cars in my photos, but this year I’m going to appreciate the people and cars. Right now I’d give just about anything to see just that.