by Melinda Gallo

Delighted by a rainbow

It wasn’t until I reached Ponte alle Grazie that it began to sprinkle. I hoped that the weather report about only being cloudy and not raining until the afternoon would be true, but the ominous gray clouds predicted otherwise. As I raced through San Niccolò and up the incline to reach the Giardino delle Rose, I encountered many people with sturdy umbrellas and brightly colored parkas descending from Piazzale Michelangiolo. They didn’t dissuade me from continuing my hike up to the garden.

Living in Florence :: Delighted by a rainbow

It started to rain more consistently after I walked through the bottom entrance of the Giardino delle Rose. The moment I saw a pink rose, I immediately pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and took a photo of it. As I focused on the rose and framed it so that the Duomo was in the background, I spotted a rainbow. I snapped a few more photos of the rainbow as the scent of wet grass tickled my nose.

As the sky darkened above the Duomo and the clouds shifted, the rainbow faded. I continued to see a faint echo of the rainbow glistening in the sky, but it didn’t appear in any of my photos. At times, the wind separated the clouds as they were heading east, which allowed the sun to shine brightly on the Duomo and show glimpses of the light blue sky.

I continued walking around the garden to admire the roses. Each time after I examined a rose and inhaled its sweet scent, I looked up at the Duomo hoping to see another rainbow. A few times a rainbow reappeared, but disappeared quickly thereafter.

While I was standing between the rose bushes in the grassy patch near the fountain, a rainbow appeared to be coming out of the cupola of the Duomo. I quietly cheered and quickly snapped a few photos of it. A few minutes later, I took a video of the gardens while the church bells were ringing. Unfortunately, the rainbow had already disappeared by the time they began.

I sat down on the grassy area's stone barrier to admire my surroundings: the bright green grass, the persimmon tree full of ripe fruit, the view of Florence, and the rose bushes with only a few roses on them. Some of the rose bushes were bare with a small pile of rose petals scattered at their base.

When the wind began to pick up, it brought with it dark gray clouds from the southwest. I wanted to stay a little longer, but the thick blanket of clouds brought rain. Before standing up, I looked around the gardens one last time and noticed that I was alone.

I swiftly walked down the incline and through San Niccolò with the image of the rainbow still vivid in my mind. I couldn’t help but smile, thinking about how much I was looking forward to admiring the roses in the Giardino, and yet Mother Nature had a surprise in store for me. It just proves that magic happens when you least expect it.

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