Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Morning at the Champ de Mars

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When I arrived at the Champ de Mars this morning, the men I usually see in yellow fluorescent jackets were gone. They left behind stacks of see-through green trash bags under the trees for pickup. I started off my run as usual with runners along side me and others coming toward me. I always head in the same direction toward the Eiffel Tower, and each time I canít help but smile.

When I turned in front of the Ecole Militaire to head toward the Eiffel Tower again, the sun was glaring in the sky just above the dome of the Invalides, which was mostly hidden behind tan-colored apartment buildings. On my second lap, the sun was higher in the sky and the glare of it was reflected on the building windows to the west.

After my run, I tend to walk to the grassy area in front of the Eiffel Tower to stretch out. I enjoy the time when I am still and everyone else around me is moving: women gather on the narrow trail under the trees while their dogs play and frumpily dressed men scour the area in front of me for treasures left behind the night before by tourists. I rarely see any of them pick up anything, but it must be worth it if they come to do it every day.

The grand prize for me is that special moment when I face the Eiffel Tower and stretch my arms above my head, reaching for the sky. It is an inspirational moment that fills me with great strength. This morning, I wondered what Gustave Eiffel had in mind when he built the Eiffel Tower. No one liked it when it was built, but now Paris is symbolized by this tall monument. I doubt he thought that people would come not just to take in its beauty, but to also be inspired.

On my walk home from the Champ de Mars, I thought about how my morning runs around the Eiffel Tower are not just good for my body, but also good for my heart and soul. Sometimes I donít write much for my blog, but almost always after a run, thoughts and feelings bubble up inside of me that I want to share.

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