by Melinda Gallo

Keeping my eyes and heart open in Florence

When Iím walking around Florence, no matter if Iím in a rush or focused on getting to a specific location, I try to keep my eyes and heart open as much as possible. I donít just keep myself open to the beauty I have seen many times, but also to the beauty that I might not have seen yet. I think thatís one of the reasons why I take photos of Florence. I donít just take photos to capture her beauty and share it, but also to remember that she presents more of her beauty to me every day with every step I take.

Living in Florence :: Keeping my eyes and heart open in Florence

Florence is definitely my muse. She inspires me not only in my writing, but also in just living my life. She has taught me to embrace the beauty that is presented to me and to appreciate it. Itís like when someone smiles at me. Itís a gift I receive fully in my heart and do not compare it to any other smiles.

When I walk around Florence, I sometimes let her take me by the hand and lead me where she thinks I should go. When she nudges me in a different direction, I am never disappointed. I always discover something I hadnít seen before, see the city in a different way, or bump into someone I hadnít seen in awhile. No matter how many times I have seen a monument, building, piazza, or even the Arno, I enjoy finding something new to love about each one. Sometimes, itís the light or the weather conditions that enhance their beauty. I might see Florence through my eyes, but I feel her through my heart.

Florence has nestled herself in my heart and regardless of where I am, I can feel her love circulating inside of me. Sometimes when I look at a photo of her, all of those feelings bubble back up to the surface. Florence is with me everywhere I go. Her love permeates through me and inspires me to be as generous with others as she is with me.

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