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Jardin du Luxembourg | by Amy's Sketchbook
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Jardin du Luxembourg

I think it was around 1995 when I realized I had a large number of frequent flyer miles about to expire. It was that week between Christmas and New Years and I remember trudging through the ice and snow to the local travel agency. Back then; the airlines had offices throughout the city. My heart was heavy as I had just broken up with someone and hadn’t given much thought to where I had wanted to go. I wasn’t really giving anything much thought when I arrived at the counter. Wearily, I asked the clerk if she could go anywhere in the world where would that be? She, just as weary, answered Paris.


I had been out of the country once before to visit friends in Holland. I thought as the clerk and I booked an October trip to Paris that I would find someone to go with me. I didn’t and so I went alone with trepidation and fear as my companions. Oh yes, my Canon AE1 had been resurrected from the depths of my closet, dust still clinging to the case.


It was standing in the Left Bank in the early hours of the morning I arrived that fear had just about paralyzed me. Bad with directions to begin with I was lost, tired, didn’t know the language and desperately looking for my hotel…a very small and inexpensive place found in a tour book. I stopped the first man I could and asked haltingly, “Pardon, parlez vous English?” He looked at me with a bit of disdain and answered, “I am English.” Laughter lightens the heart and with that courage is born.


There are moments in your life you know are turning points. It was on this trip I discovered not only the photographer within but an inner strength I did not know until then I owned.


I took this photo that morning at Jardin du Luxembourg.


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Taken on August 3, 2008