Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Commuting to work

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This morning as my beau drove us into work, the sun was coming up. It turned the sky a deep magenta with an orange glow. Normally at 8 am, it is still dark, but today I watched as the colors streaked across the horizon and lightened up the dark blue to a lighter blue. As we drove down the narrow streets of a Parisian suburb, I thought about how different my life is when I am in France. In Florence, I am more in touch with the city. I walk its streets, breathe in its scent, and feel its energy. In France, I am often in a car when I need to travel. Sometimes I take the train, which allows me to walk one kilometer to the gare (train station) and one kilometer from the gare to the office.

I enjoy working from home when Iím in Florence because I have so much more flexibility. I can take a break, walk around the city, peer out at the Arno, and go to one of my friendsí negozi (shops-Italian) to chat. In France, I am in more of a cocoon and I only speak to my beau, my friends, and people I work with. Contact with other people is practically impossible.

From one underground car garage (at our place) to the one at work, I realize that I am rarely outside at all. The only time I get to walk around (unless I take the train to work) is at lunch when I go out with my colleagues somewhere nearby.

Maybe it is for that reason that I love to look out at the bare trees with their dark branches poking up into the colorful sky in the morning and the glistening Seine river as we drive over the pont (bridge-French). It is all I get as my intake of beauty for the day. Luckily, I have a few photos of Florence for my computer desktop so that I can at least take a whiff of the beauty that I left behind. I always appreciated my surroundings, but now I cherish my time in Florence as well as in Paris when I have the time to visit it.

I am ecstatic with the changes in my life, but I still need to adjust to them. I have already loosened my grip on Florence, but I know that I could never fully let go of it. My beloved city lingers in my heart and could never be replaced.

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