While going about my day, I often stop to bask in a moment. Sometimes it’s the way the bridge’s shadow decorates the river, how the sun explodes an array of colors in the sky, the lush greenery adding its touch to the panorama, and the Duomo illuminating the view during a walk in the gardens.
The autumn is a lively season that always gives me great pause. As a cool breeze ripples by, it brings with it a sense of reflection and appreciation. During an abundant season like this one, we can infuse a few moments every day with our life.
Ponte alle Grazie — September 25, 2022The sound of water flowing in the Arno seeped into my apartment this morning. It was so loud that I rushed to my windows. The sun was only a whisper as the sapphire blue sky highlighted the wispy clouds gliding overhead.
An hour later, I leaned against the red brick wall above the Arno and paused. Taking in deep breaths of the crisp air soothed my heart and mind. As I approached the Ponte alle Grazie, I admired the glossy beige water over my right shoulder. Before turning the corner, I caught sight of the bridge’s silhouette on the water.
Yesterday’s rain slid down the outlying hills and traversed the city, passing under bridges and transporting some debris and broken tree branches.
A gentle breeze flowed through my hair while the sun warmed my back as I stood on the bridge. The sunlight was so bright that I squinted at the whitewashed Ponte Vecchio.
A couple of tourists, sipping coffee from paper cups, passed by while a few cars crossed the bridge behind us.
I closed my eyes and listened to the roar of the river. When I reopened them, I scanned the riverscape. Florence’s vibrant energy revivified me and prepared me for another day to revel in and enjoy.
Ponte Santa Trinita — October 2, 2022The sun emanated its golden light across the city and set the sky aglow. From the middle of Ponte Santa Trinita, I soaked up the same fiery orange light that infused the clouds and warmed up the buildings along the north-side of the river. A cool breeze rippled through the air, tossing my scarf behind me.
Swifts traversed the horizon as two seagulls traveled west, as if chasing after the sun. My eyes followed a lone swift flying inches above the placid water until it disappeared in the shadows.
As the sky grew dim, I felt a mix of joy and melancholy, as depicted by the dark, pillowy clouds hovering above the sun’s golden embrace.
I walked down Lungarno Corsini toward Ponte alla Carraia, where cars and buses glided across in both directions. The sun’s orange light lingered around San Frediano in Cestello, illuminating its cupola.
I didn’t want to leave the Arno just yet, but I was already running late. I gazed at the sunset while leaning against the brick wall with my elbows atop the cement. I took in a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, and gradually released it. My shoulders relaxed and my jaw softened. As I walked away, I tucked into my heart the memory of this evening’s sunset, which gifted me much delight and serenity.
Viale Galileo — October 14, 2022I felt as if I were in a dream as I crossed the Ponte alle Grazie. With the sun hovering low in the hazy sky above Piazzale Michelangiolo, all the muted colors of the buildings and greenery blurred together. To ground me in this moment, I heard three gardeners trimming the overgrown grass along the southern riverbank.
After the cool air ushered me through the winding streets of San Niccolò, the warm sunrays led me up the incline to the Giardino delle Rose. Voluptuous roses stretched up toward the sky atop slender branches. A soft scent of wet leaves and full blossoms welcomed me.
Circling the grassy areas, I reveled in the roses. Admiring all of them and sniffing a few. I continued up the incline to Piazzale Michelangiolo where tourists milled around the large square, admiring the panorama.
Dried orange leaves scattered along the sidewalk crunched under my feet as I headed up Viale Galileo. I paused for a moment to admire San Miniato al Monte through the green and yellow leaves of the plane trees. Nature is sharing her vibrant beauty with us before the days become shorter.
I walked down the stone pathway to one of my favorite spots along the avenue. Men were working in the fields below. Plump green and purple olives adorned the five trees spaced a few meters apart. While my surroundings held me in their embrace, the din of cars and trucks zipping by became loud and then waned.
I sat on a bench to admire Florence through the olive trees. When Santa Croce’s bells rang, I jumped up. Other bells around the city chimed in. To finish the hourly celebration, San Miniato al Monte’s bells sounded and gradually faded away.
As nature shifts gears, it reminds us to relish her bounty of love that she shares with us.
Giardino Bardini — Ocrober 17, 2022Fiery red leaves cascading down the stone wall, caught my eye as I entered the Giardino Bardini. My heart raced as I ascended the wide, gravel path lined with tall hedges and bushes. I closed my eyes for a few seconds to savor Mother Nature’s rich and lively mélange of scents. A blackbird chirped from inside a cypress tree.
After the first set of steps, I made my way to the rose bushes adorning the barrier below the fruit orchard. I paused a few times to dip my nose into the open apricot, white, and pink rose blossoms. Their fruity and powdery perfume embraced me from the inside and infused me with serenity and love.
I turned under the oak tree and strolled up the shady pergola. The yellowing wisteria leaves gave off a warm glow, as if transmitting the sunlight it absorbed last summer. Over my right shoulder, the Duomo gleamed below the billowy white clouds.
When I reached the top, I navigated through the olive grove, stepping around chestnuts that were scattered throughout the tall, damp grass. The sun highlighted a plenitude of olives dangling from the sleek branches.
As I approached the camellia bushes filled with small buds, faint church bells from beyond the walls were chiming. When I turned around toward the terrace, the view of the Duomo through the gates stopped me in my tracks. Wispy clouds sashayed across the sky as the sun caressed the city.
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