by Melinda Gallo

Coming and going

Florence, Paris, and back again. Even I find my life a little difficult to follow. At least once a month, I leave my home to temporarily live (for 12 days) in Paris. Ever since I moved back to Florence in 2004, I rarely felt the need or desire to leave it. Iíd usually go away maybe once or twice a year. Itís not that I donít love to travel, but I love staying in my beloved city even more.

For that reason, I havenít traveled much in Italy either. I enjoy the places I visit when I am there, but the though of leaving behind Florence is almost painful for me.

Now that I donít have much of a choice and have to leave each month, Iíve gotten used to my farewells and my returns.

One thing Iíve noticed is that I try to enjoy my beloved city even more. I find it less enjoyable to sit at home, even if I can look out the window and see the Arno. I want to walk around more, spend quality time with people I appreciate, and discover more about Florence. I donít like thinking that time is creeping past me and I canít enjoy it.

One of my favorite things to do is just walk around town aimlessly. I try to spot things I havenít noticed before as well as discover what has changed since I last strolled by. Sometimes thereís a new shop, bar, or restaurant that has opened and other times itís a shop that has closed.

I enjoy my time away from Florence as well. Paris is, of course, an amazing city. I donít long to be back in Florence like I did in the beginning. I know that I will return, so I try to enjoy my time away as much as I can. And when I return to my beloved city, I melt in her arms and feel great joy ripple through me.

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