Sometimes a simple unexpected  gesture uncovers a happy memory. On one Friday afternoon, I made the short walk to our mailbox. As I removed the contents, I caught a glimpse of bills, magazines, and an image of the Eiffel Tower. My fingers grabbed the picture and I looked at it as if it was a mistake.

In my hands, I stared at this Parisian postcard. I turned it around and my eyes gazed toward the bottom. It was a postcard sent by my dear friend Renee. She took the time to write a handwritten message about her travels and a little note on how she was savoring moments with her family. It felt nice to follow the circles, lines, and flow of cursive handwriting. I really couldn’t recall the last time I received a postcard from anyone.

Her message about savoring moments brought me back to a time almost 10 years ago when I visited France with my husband. We walked the streets of Nice and Paris, following the cobblestoned pathways into French bakeries. We ate croissants, Napoleons, and fruit tarts. We stood near the Eiffel Tower and kissed, while a fellow tourist snapped our picture with the famous landmark in the background. There were street artists painting portraits, while people glanced over their shoulders. In Montmarte, we took in the views of the entire city on top of a hill. It’s an image tattooed in my mind, the panoramic sight of Paris and all of its intersections.

A single postcard on a hot Phoenix afternoon brought me back.  To the beginnings of my marriage, the streets of Paris, the scent of baked goods, and the bustle of artists creating black and white charcoal drawings of landscapes and people. This is the power of simplicity, of words, and a thoughtful gesture. Thank you Renee.

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