I spent very little time engaged in my beloved city when I was there a couple of weeks ago. Now that I am in France, I miss Florence. I looked out at the Arno from my apartment windows every day when I was home, but I wanted to take in the city a lot more: stroll the streets, walk along the Arno, and maybe even visit a museum. I wanted to open myself up even more to my city, savor it, and bask in it. Florence is unlike any other city I know. Its energy not only inspires me, but it uplifts me, opens my heart, and fills me up with love and joy. No other place on Earth does this for me time and time again.
When I was living in Florence full-time, the energy and love I received felt so natural, like the breath that flows in and out of my body. Now that I live part-time just outside of Paris, my beloved city’s importance in my life has increased hundredfold. I don’t just visit my beloved city when I am home; I dive into it. I change languages (even the one I speak to myself in), connect with the energy of my beloved city, inhale it, and live it. I don’t hold the energy inside of me, but rather transform it and spread it throughout my life by way of my heart, my mind, and my writing.
Florence represents the lining up of my heart, mind, and soul. It is as if my entire being is rebalanced when I am in Florence’s embrace. My head takes the backseat and my heart moves into the driver’s seat. “Hang on,” it says. I smile with glee because I know that this is the way I want to live my life every day.
Florence reminds me to keep this balance no matter where I am. I always think that I am keeping my life in balance until I return to Florence and I initially feel lopsided after being away just a couple of weeks. I quickly get back into step with Florence and once again feel overcome with joy.
When I am away, I sometimes browse my photos of Florence to summon up the joy and love I feel when I am there. I chose this photo of Florence because it touched me; it inspired me to put my heart back in the driver’s seat. May the awe-inspiring beauty of Florence inspire you too.
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