by Melinda Gallo

Sundays are for expressing gratitude

As the late morning church bells ring and echo through the narrow street bordering one side of my apartment, I am delighted to be home. A light rain falls from the sky, barely making a sound on the roof. Autumn is approaching, and the weather is both unpredictable and pleasurable. While I stand at my window, a few runners weave through traffic while a small group of people carrying umbrellas make their way toward the Ponte Vecchio. I admire them for not allowing the rain to hinder their plans. Before sitting back down on my couch, a pack of bicyclists catches my eye. They honk their horns, signaling to the cars to let them pass ahead of them.

Living in Florence :: Sundays are for expressing gratitude

Today I welcome the rain, which always encourages me to remain inside. This past week, we had a few thunderstorms and a hailstorm. These capricious weather conditions always remind me to take advantage of the more delightful ones to navigate Florence.  

Sundays are my favorite day to stay home and keep to myself regardless of the weather. I enjoy lounging around my apartment and peeking out the windows every now and again to see what is going on outside. I love dedicating a full day to being more inwardly focused so I can appreciate all that has transpired this last week. I only look back to find more details that I might have overlooked and to savor what I have already enjoyed.

I remember how I strolled through Giardino Bardini, hiked up to Forte di Belvedere, and watched the sunset a few times along the Arno as well as from Ponte Santa Trinita. I was delighted to experience so much beauty that then nestled itself into my heart.

I enjoyed Giardino Bardini this week because it reminds me to accept the passing of time and honor the ending of one season and the beginning of the next. At the moment, only the anemones are in full bloom. Some trees are losing their leaves while others have thinned out now that their leaves have fallen to the ground. The rose bushes lined up along the incline in Giardino Bardini are blossoming again. Behind them the apple, pear, and peach trees are now bare. The olive trees behind the pergola are filled with tiny green olives awaiting to be cultivated in a few weeks.
 
For this afternoon, the weather forecast predicts clearer skies. If I am inspired to walk around Florence later, I will do so. However, in the meantime, I will continue to bask in my memories of the last few days and feel much love and gratitude for Florence.

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