by Melinda Gallo

Embracing the lockdown

The church bells chimed throughout the city this morning, calling parishioners to church. It’s a sweet reminder of what our daily life once was in Florence. The freedom to stroll through the streets and piazzas at any time has now been replaced with direct routes to buy necessities and return home. I can now calculate the time I spend outdoors in minutes per week instead of hours per day.

Living in Florence :: Embracing the lockdown

I’m fortunate to live in the historical city center where I can admire the sights when I pass by; however, the desire to photograph my surroundings has decreased. Not because no one is around, but because the energy has shifted. Without people animating the streets and piazzas of Florence, the city feels somber.

These days, I prefer to stay home and look out the window at my beloved city instead of walking around her barren streets. I now only go out a couple of times a week to purchase food.

Before the lockdown, I would only buy food when I needed it because my refrigerator is small and I prefer fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables. I try to stop by my local gastronomy (delicatessen) to purchase a few items to thank him for providing food for us. Every shop I purchase items from, I thank them for opening up to provide us all with the food we need.

I’m surprised by how many people have made plans to fill up their time while they’re under lockdown. I wonder if they’ll be able to appreciate the benefits of this lockdown if they do what they did before by keeping themselves busy the whole time. Now is the time to listen to the silence, center ourselves, and reassess our lives, our values, and our priorities. 

During the lockdown, I don’t think we need to fill up our time, but rather let time fill us up with a greater insight into our hearts. 

It’s easy to look at what we can’t do during the lockdown, but the effect of isolating ourselves and being more present in our lives brings great gifts to each one of us. Unique gifts that will change our lives forever. 

This photo is one I took from Giardino Bardini in February.

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