As many of you know, many countries have been bombed recently, and I am geographically closer to these tragedies than ever before. I also know a few people that were affected by these acts of terror. One of these attacks was in Paris, France. I found out through the BBC News App on my phone and immediately messaged the people I knew in Paris to make sure they were safe, and they all were. These multiple acts around the world are simple, yet harsh reminders that the world we live in can be a cruel one, however, one must not forget that love can conquer all. Now I don’t mean that in a romantic kind of way, but that love in its most basic form can be the best healer. Think of Jesus, He is love and the best healer I can possibly think of.
After the attacks were all over the news, my roommates and I immediately got into contact with each other to make sure we were all safe. At the time, we were spread out; Alex and I were in Firenze, Carla in Roma, Kelley in Budapest, and Vic was in Zurich. As I sit here now and read about how these countries have become more united than ever, it just makes me realize how powerful love can be. It can be the simple “Watch your step” or “Excuse me” from a stranger. Or the “Hey, you guys safe?” from my roommates and the fact that we have family dinners almost every night. These are all ways to say “I love you”. I have found myself falling for this city and the people within it. I see love everyday; from the little kids walking with grandparents, the greetings of old Italian friends, the smile of someone getting gelato, the laughter of my roommates. As I sit here at my dining room table writing this I can hear Carla and Alex laughing while Vic sits beside me working on a paper. The small things about us, like making tea for each other, helping each other with homework, eating dinner together, it’s all just a reminder of how much these women have impacted me. Parts of my heart are going around the world when we have to leave each other.
The people of Paris stood with the people of the United States when September 11 happened 14 years ago, and now I, as an American, stand with the French. The City of Lights will always hold a special place in my heart, along with Firenze. Each country and city that has been affected by these attacks has a place in my heart and I grieve for them everyday. I guess it just hits home when it is a place that you have been to and a place that has a couple people that you love in it.
As Christmas is just six weeks away now, it is almost more prevalent. Firenze has started decorating the city center with twinkle lights and store fronts have lights and garland around the doorways. I’m sure Christmas markets are just around the corner. We will begin to see love in the donations, the hugs of loved ones, the squeals of young ones, the lights.
Love is actually all around, you just have to know where to look.
(Left to Right:) Carla, Alex, Me, Kelley, Victoria