More than Nice (!)
Save for hearing it from the song that goes “..I’ve been to Nice, and the isle of Greece, while I sipped champagne on a yacht..” I didn’t know anything about Nice, France; and, yes, what’s actually nice 🙂 about it.
The decision to come was not to do sightseeing as much as it is to spend dedicated time with my husband. (Really Ninang?) Oh, who am I kidding? 😜 Who doesn’t want to know why the place was included in the song “I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me..”🎼 (you’re singing Ninang!).
Also, my starting-to-ache knees made it easier (actually more of imperative🙂) for me to invest in travels with my husband. I realized I won’t be forever young and mobile to do this with one of the most important people in my life. 😁
To minimize spending though, we booked a room in the 5th floor of an old building, but in a pretty good location. And this, though there was no elevator. We were surprised that it was more challenging than the previous “high” floors we stayed at in Europe. Stairs were steeper! Nice “took my breath away” and we were just climbing the stairs to our apartment. 😁 So we called our place the “tower” (‘rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair’); and it’s where I spent most of our first days in Nice.
I made Nice the place that it wasn’t meant to be. Because I dreaded being out of breath climbing stairs, I deferred going out and instead worked in the room armed with my computer. Alas! I ended up in viber and Facebook! Rather than outside exploring! (That’s sad Ninang!)
Then there was the challenge of my sun allergy. After a mid-morning sightseeing with a friend- despite sunblock, long sleeves, gloves and umbrella (the last two I was shy using persistently) — my hand skin allergy set in. I was thinking, is there really a chance to enjoy the Nice that it is with all these challenges? There was as much anxiety as there is excitement in this trip I had been looking forward to.
But this morning was different. My husband and I woke up early (way before the conference he attends) and decided to go down the tower without dread of breathlessly going up again. We went out while the sun is just peeking at Castle Hill. And there it is, the Nice I’ve been waiting to see– the Paradise (!) in the song, and probably a paradise on earth (though certainly short of gold-paved streets of the coming new Holy city!)– the Vivid Calm Colors and Coolness of the French Riviera.
I will remember Nice as the cool, yet “warm,” walk on the peaceful and beautiful Mediterranean coastline at sunrise, holding hands (and taking pictures!) with the man I love. It’s a morning of buying fresh cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries from a French lady who gave us free orange velvety apricots. It’s Al Fresco breakfast with croissant and coffee in Vieux Nice while most of the people are still asleep. It’s the stillness yet dynamism of life captured in one place- Nice! Really nice!!!
This article though is beyond Nice. But wording the path to discovering beauty where it should be and where it is. Wherever we are, there’s a “place” we look forward to seeing, feeling, enjoying, and thanking God for. This “magical” place doesn’t appear when we lock ourselves in the “tower” basking in what’s comfortable; and being contented in avoiding inconvenience. Beauty is in the extra mile (or stairs) we take, and the effort we exert to overcome our weaknesses.
Rising early morning (before the sun is up and cause more allergy), leaving the apartment (despite knowing I’m not that fit to climb those stairs), playing to the “strength” of the good location of our apartment, got me to the more-than-nice Nice!
We see beauty when we resolve to see it wherever we are, however we are. Make beauty, if you have to, actually. Play to your strengths. Acknowledge your weaknesses yet learn to live (be fruitful!) within them if you can’t totally overcome (you can exercise Ninang!). C’mon and Do the climb!
Now.. moving on to lunch with my husband outside the tower and to More of Nice..with my gloves and umbrella!!!
(background music: “I’ve been to paradise.. I’ve been to Nice, (not yet to) the isle of Greece..I’ve been to paradise…” 🎼🎧)
– Ninang Nice thoughts
“O LORD, how manifold our your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great..
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works..
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have being.”
(Psalm 104: 24-25, 31,33)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)