I left you yesterday with an invitation to return, so ...
...Even though I grew up in a world of blacks and whites, I was raised to believe that fairy tales came true and someday Prince Charming would arrive and stay. On that day, everything would be perfect and it would, of course, end with happily ever after. Being that person, my path still follows one extreme to the other before I'm able to settle on balance somewhere in the middle. This journey was no different. It began in Paris in 1992, where I was alone, lost, wet, cold and spoke no French. My joy for independent travel had deserted me. I was scared. I wished each day in Paris were my last.
By the time the inspirational leg of my journey began in '98, I had stopped my life. I'd quit my job. My brother and his girlfriend had agreed to stay in my house and take care of my pets. All my bills were paid through the end of December. I was free. I was still scared. I was heading to the Lot Valley in the Midi-Pyrenees region in the south of France to spend five weeks in the vacant home of my freinds Wendy and Stephane Eloit, and then return to Paris for three weeks where I had rented an apartment off of the Avenue Opera.
I believed that this last leg was the end of my journey. I laugh as I write because I now know that living well in our world requires constant challenge, questioning, change, and an ability to savor those surprises that are more amazing than anything we could have planned. I've traded in those first once upon a times for today's happily ever after journey that now crosses two continents and two millenniums. From home in New Orleans, I found Paris in 1992. Forced to discover another Paris in 1995, I was carried to the Lot where I found my own Moon River.
And, that's not the end of the story.