More than a cathedral, Notre Dame is a container for our collective soul. Regardless of faith or nationality, she has been the receptacle for millions of our prayers, dreams, and meditations. She has inspired our poems, art, and imaginations. She has hosted our proposals, weddings, funerals, vacations, memories, and reunions. She has served as a portal to our shared history. 

Tonight she reminds us to hold sacred what is here, now. To appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, and the people we love. Just because something existed before us doesn’t mean it will exist forever. 

Notre Dame will be repaired, as she was after the revolution. Once again we will study her rainbow rosette, gazing through the eyes of countless humans across the time-space continuum, marveling at the way the dust sparkles like friendly spirits overhead. We will climb her narrow stairs to emerge, breathless, at the Paris skyline, sharing membership to the most beautiful city in the world. We will perhaps be even more grateful, more reverent, knowing what we lost, and knowing what we still have. 

Until then, let us hold space for each other, and tend to this weary world soul. We love you, Paris.

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