Catherine de’ Medici and her fountain in Paris

Have you ever seen a more beautiful place than this?
Imagine yourself sitting in one of the heavy green metal chairs alongside this magnificent fountain and basin and notice that the sun is shining on you and the water and the birds are singing in the background. You hear the lovely sound of French being spoken by families and lovers all around you and you believe you must be catching the whiff of the blooming lilacs or jasmine that are scattered throughout this park. Park? No, slice of paradise.
You take in the details of the place as you notice the movement of the water, the play of sunlight on the surface, the ducks gliding over the surface and then it dawns on you that someone has taken the extreme trouble to train the Boston ivy to grow over the metal frames that enclose the long, rectangular basin on either side. The swoops in the ivy frame lucky people enjoying Paris in spring!
You try to focus on the climax of the creation, which is the grotto-like wall fountain with its elaborate sculptural program in limestone, marble and bronze. Your mind wanders to Renaissance Florence, from where Catherine came. You are lost in supreme mental happiness.
Again, you focus your mind on the art. You take it in, one detail at a time:
You look at the way the sunlight lingers on the limbs of the river god on the top right, as he pours water from his vessel into the fountain below.
Ah, but the water!
On beauty overload, you throw your head back and look up to clear your eyes and mind. And what do you see but the most lovely canopy of fresh spring green leaves against a lovely blue sky, slightly veiled by a sheer cover of white clouds.
You focus harder, drawing the canopy towards you.
And yet closer. You are lost in the sky and leaves until your neck begs you to look forward again.

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