To Paris with Gratitude

I really don’t think I can continue my daily posts until I stop for a moment and recognize someone very important. I happen to have a very special friend who is not only physically beautiful but also perhaps even more so within her soul and very being. I say all of that with the need of letting you to know that she and I have never had the opportunity of sharing a coffee, a glass of wine, or a laugh together, as we have never been face to face with one another.
Her name is Cristina and I met her much by chance about a year ago even though I had known about her for the past couple of years. I had found myself in a place of extreme reflection, a bit of loss and transition, topped off with a dose of loneliness. It was at that moment that a sympathetic ear and wise counsel came my way via a love of cooking. One thing I continue to marvel over is how God, a loving Father, will bring the right person into our lives just when we are in the most need.
While researching a recipe a few years back, coupled by my general interest in cooking, I just happened upon Cristina. As you see, Cristina is a renowned “cook” in her corner of the world– with a passion for pastries. She has a website, a beautiful site I might add as her lovely creations and the photography that show case the labor of her hands, is a wonder in itself—very visually stunning. Her commentary is in both Spanish and English, as she is a native Spanish speaker living in France. But it is her warmth and “realness” that is most apparent. In a world gone mad over reality TV, Hollywood and all that is glamorous and glitzy, the false and the unauthentic— Cristina is grounded by a strong sense of self along with a deep humility. She is authentic.
Cristina is, however, more than a good cook/chef. She is a wife and mom just like me. She is a daughter and a friend. She has experienced joy and sorrow. She has lived through transition and loneliness. She is much like me, as well as countless other women “out there”, who get up each morning and greet each new day with wonder and sometimes dread.
It was Cristina who told me that I must write. And I must say that doing so is proving to be most cathartic, as well as enjoyable, as it has allowed me to find the voice I thought somewhat silenced. It has “reunited” me with former students and friends who I have truly missed. I was a teacher who had always wanted to write as I just felt the need to communicate. I envisioned a book one day, and who knows, maybe there will be one— but for now I will be content writing here—offering a bit of my heart to others. It is my hope that my musings may offer, for anyone “out there”, a place where one can find a little cheer, reflection, inspiration or a like-minded soul…so here’s to sharing, authenticity, and genuineness, but most of all here is to gratitude– gratitude to all who offer others a kind word, a sympathetic ear and a piece of their heart. Here is to you my friend, Cristina.


One comment on “To Paris with Gratitude

  1. Oh, Julie…what can I say..? Thank you SO much! Your words are like a magic balm to my heart!
    Yes, because there are so many days when we feel like “out of place” in this world! Everything seems to be the rush to work to earn more money…and five minutes to think about those who make our days sunnier?
    Some people tell me I’m “old fashioned” in that sense…well, I’m proud to be! My parents were hard-workers, but then they always found to time to sit and share a “mate” (argentinean infusion, like tea) with my brother and me, with their friends..there was a time for work, but also a time to talk, to put love in words! People say love is seen in deeds, which is true, but we also need to “hear” it… feel it “in hugs”
    Thanks again Julie and I wish you were here (or me there!) to give you a long and warm hug!
    A huge kiss,

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