My thought the first time I saw it was, “This will do for now.” In those first few unpredictable days, I was anxious to get something solid in my new life. What I didn’t realize was that this apartment, now my apartment, on rue de Bellechasse was much more than a teeny tiny home. A little more than poetic, my new graduate school and Paris-based life had come to perch six stories up at the intersection of University Street (rue de Université) and Beautiful Hunt Street (rue de Bellechasse). It took us a while to get to know one another, but what I slowly came to understand was that I was at the center of my dream Paris world. All the places that had run through my high school and college French class day dreams : Musee d’Orsay, the Tuileries gardens, the Seine river, Boulevard St. Germain des Pres were all my most immediate neighbors. The daydreams turned into everyday realities.
I soon discovered – and as you may well be aware if you’ve spent any time on this blog – Paris can take you over. Being one who doesn’t like to miss out, I was swept way. And as I was preparing to return to the United States, I thought a lot about what I might want to bring back with me. However, besides a few good pairs of shoes, what was and is most dear to me are the memories and the feelings I will always carry about the city and the lessons it helped to teach me. I couldn’t have picked a sweeter named street to hover over the past year and a half. Beautiful hunt says it all I think, and that’s why I decided to pick it up and carry it with me now, even though I’ve turned in my keys and walked down its six stairwells for the last time.
We’re all searching for things, hunting for them. Little hunts like what’s for dinner, the perfect party dress, the next cool social media platform, a better toy to distract us – those are the little things that fill our moment-to-moment lives. Broadening the scope though, for most people, the bigger hunt is an unrelenting search for an identity that can they can catch and hold onto with their bare hands. For others, it’s a purpose. Sometimes these identities and reasons-for-being take the form of jobs or other people. Answers, callings, or greater causes. The thing is, at the root of all these things is one full, encompassing hunt that when met, changes our lives. That one capital B big chase of our lives is God. And when we get to Him – our perspective changes. If we let go and see him clearly, our strivings cease because we’ve found the treasure at the end of the quest. Then, with Him, the hunt takes a change of course towards trying to learn how to best live life, how to fully and boldly love and chase after service, peace, and impacting the world for Him and the good of others around us. After we find him, the hunt is never the same. It shouldn’t ever be the same.
I started my blog nearly three years ago on a whim after having spent an entire evening devouring the thoughts, hopes and dreams of a young woman. A year older than me, I felt like she was pulling the words right out of my own mind and onto her own blog. Her words were like a kindle to the flame that had been just been biding time inside me to me, only waiting to be lit. And with that I was off. Porch swings and sunsets were – and still are – two of my most favorite things. One is a place from which to see life while the other is a background for the viewing, but I know find myself more interested in the doing of life and seeing while on the go. And while I am still unsure of where I’m actually going next, I’m confident that the hunt will be a beautiful, albeit sometimes frustrating, frightening or unfamiliar, one.
A blog name may not seem like an important matter, but me coming into this space to write and talk and you to read and share, I think it’s beneficial to set the right banner for us to meet under. In fact, I’m excited about this turn in the blog’s writing. So wherever you are in this hunt, what do you say we go the rest of the way together?