by Melinda Gallo

The gift of appreciation

Who cares about forever if we canít appreciate today? My mother wouldíve celebrated a birthday today if she were still alive. When she was here, I thought that life lasted forever and that tomorrow would always come. Before my mother passed away nine years ago, I don't think I was appreciating life as much as I could have. Even though her departure from my life was the greatest tragedy I have experienced in my life, it has also brought with it a wonderful gift of appreciating life.

Living in Florence :: The gift of appreciation

To celebrate my momís birthday, I walked over to Giardino Bardini. It is a quiet and magical garden where I can walk up the gravel path alone with my city alongside me. It is my vacation spot in town. The place I go to for respite.

My favorite place to be is in the loggia of the cafť where the sounds of the city are muffled. I am happy that I can appreciate a quiet sunny day looking out at the city below. I feel fortunate to be able to admire the churches as well as the white butterfly that flutters by me.

While I am surrounded by greenery, I look out at the sea of red roofs that reach out to the hills of Fiesole. Being August, the city is quieter with fewer cars and motorini (scooters) circulating the streets. Even the giardino is quieter with only a handful of people enjoying it today.

The Giardino Bardini is currently exhibiting wooden sculptures by Giuseppe Gavazzi, called ďLa Grande Madre The Great Mother.Ē I didnít know the name of the exhibition until I got to the giardino today even though I had taken photos of some of the statues before.

I walked around to see most of them, but the one that struck me the most is in the photo Iíve shown here. I feel like the girl hugging the horse, basking in the sun, enjoying the view of the city.

I took the sound of the campane (bells) of Santa Croce as my cue to leave the giardini after being there for over an hour. Iím fortunate to be able to come back to the giardini and I look forward to that day, but for now Iím basking in the time I spent here today. My photo is a reminder not only of this wonderful day, but also of my mother and the city that has led me to open my heart again.

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