Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Me, My Heart, and I :: Home, Solitude, Happiness

When I first arrived in Florence for a three-month stay, my meaning of home shifted. One day I was walking around the city to get myself situated and ducked inside the Orsanmichele church. Initially, I didn’t know it was a church because of its rectangular shape and rather inconspicuous entrance. I made my way to the front of the church where a large, white tabernacle framing a painting of the “Madonna with Child” stood. I sat down in the wooden pew closest to the tabernacle and admired the details of them both. After a few minutes, I closed my eyes. “You are home,” a soft voice whispered to me. The voice startled me at first because it was not my voice and also because I had never once uttered those words. As if the voice knew I was unsure of what I had just heard, it whispered them again to me two more times. I released a long breath I was holding unintentionally and let my body gently find its way against the back of the pew.

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