Once Upon A Time.

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 © Sweet Ice Cream Photo (France)

Once upon a time, there was a woman who always smiled during a sudden rain. She loved the sweet scent of warm concrete and dust that lingered between each drop of condensation.  She had a new-found appreciation for the way the wisps on the crown of her head stood at attention. Like an exuberant crowd, they perked, “Bravo! Encore!” with a frenzied applause after an enchantingly modern interpretation of Verdi’s La Traviata. However futile her attempts to tame such rebelliously delicate strands, she embraced her rebellious beauty.

She delighted in watching the bustling European streets quiet down as pedestrians sheepishly ducked into the nearest cafes and hotel lobbies. They shielded themselves with newspapers, scraps of cardboard, and jacket collars that were too short to be of any use against the uncooperative elements.  But she was not afraid. Certainly not of a little rain, the rain always had a way of revealing her true nature.

While sidewalks emptied, she continued forward until she suddenly reached her favorite corner on Avenue Marceau. She had passed it a million times before, only this time it looked different. Before her stood an enormous glass window adorned by a swirling wrought iron balcony. Just a few days ago, she could have sworn it was only brick.

She blinked feverishly and rubbed the raindrops from her lashes as she stood in awe, practically blinded by the colorful light emitted from behind the glass. Rich plums, and intoxicating indigoes juxtaposed with flashes of yellows, while flecks of warm gold, swirls of emerald green bubbled out of beakers and dazzling pinks splashed before her eyes.

Ever so curious, she marched closer and closer to the glass for a clearer view. As she leaned in, her breath drew a shapely fog against the pane, time appeared to crawl to a stop as she placed her hands around the woven gate. She drew a deeper breath and suddenly, the glass dissolved like mist before her eyes. There she stood in what felt like the earth’s crust, “the Atelier”, she whispered.

But, she was not alone. There was a sense of odd familiarity in the profile of this person who was restless with curiosity. Each time she reached out to touch them, the figure would float out of reach. The alchemist tales and histories that the mysterious figure depicted were alluringly radiant, and ever so familiar.

That’s when she realized that she knew this mysterious individual. She recognized the unbridled passion, felt their curiosity, dreamed in their ancestral fables and histories. She wasn’t looking at a phantom figure.

In the blink of an eye and with a short exhale, she snapped awake. There she was, staring at the bedroom ceiling. Her kind, romantic, mysteriously untameable and bold self.

*Cheers from The Atelier