It wasn’t obvious. You had to stare hard to discern it. Unlooked for, it escapes notice. But I noticed. I can’t help it. It hit me hard when I realized what I was looking at. I was flushed. Excited. Awed. And why not. I had found France’s greatest treasure. And I stumbled upon it in a wedding.
Having been to my fair share of weddings, it was safe to say nothing much about it surprises me anymore. Despite that, this one managed to hit a chord.
Adrien Polaert’s bride is Muslim.
I often hear that the Eifel is France’s most valuable asset. Competing with that, there is the Mona Lisa, Paris, the Alps, philosophy, renaissance, baguette, apricot jam, roquefort, chocolates and many others. However, standing there looking at this two individuals from faiths in perpetual conflict pledging their love for each other, I can’t help but wonder whether France’s greatest treasure is its amazing religious sensibilities.
Imagine freedom to marry someone with the knowledge that her faith is irrelevant to the proceedings. Imagine freedom which allows you to hold her hand or kiss her cheeks wherever you are without glancing over your shoulders furtively. Imagine freedom to tell the world that your love transcends religion and finding the world mirror your happiness. Imagine such freedom to save your better half from the pain of choosing between her God and your love.
Alas, such glorious and unabashed freedom. France’s greatest treasure stares at me. I can’t help but stare back with envy.