Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It has been a long winter for me. Only now that I have returned to Florence do I feel as if spring is not that far away. In Paris, it snowed just a few days after the first sunny Saturday afternoon. I thought that one day marked the beginning of spring, but it was not. I was pleased to arrive in Florence to see the sun shining overhead and flower buds on trees. I am once again hopeful that spring is finally on its way.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

My trip to Florence last week was so brief that I didnít find the time to write about it. I arrived last Monday evening to the clear blue skies of Florence and returned to a snowy Paris on Saturday. I spent all my free time soaking up my beloved city and catching up with my friends. Itís only now that I realize how vital my trips to Florence are for me. The time I spend there is both intense and relaxing.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Living in two cities is like living two lives. I have two lifestyles that include two homes, two sets of friends, two works schedules, two diets, two languages, and two cultures. Itís a lot to juggle for me, but when I am in one place, I try to be fully present. Now that I am in Paris, I am at peace with my home here. I havenít forgotten my beloved city, Florence. It is always in the back of my mind, but I donít dwell on its absence in my life.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Iíve already returned from Florence to Paris since Sunday. I went home last Friday and brought my beau with me. Over the weekend, I showed off my beloved city and took in its splendor. I enjoyed walking the streets and visiting a few special spots. I was over the moon to share my beloved city with my beau. We ate at a couple of my favorite restaurants, visited the Uffizi, and went to a soccer match to watch the Fiorentina play.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

After flying over snow-capped mountains just north of Tuscany, we landed in Florence this afternoon where the skies were clear and the sun was shining high above. The second I got off the plane, I took in a deep breath and felt my body relax a little bit. It was a joy to sense the warm air brush against my face. Iím finally home, I thought to myself.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

A strange thing happens when Iím a few days from my return to Florence: I suddenly begin inserting Italian words into my vocabulary and my beloved city begins to surface more in my mind. Itís almost as if my brain is preparing itself for the switch. Tomorrow Iím returning to Florence after a six-week stay in France. While Iíve been in France, I havenít longed much for my beloved city, but I admit that I have missed it dearly.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What I have found interesting about speaking a foreign language is how sensitive I have become to everything around the words that a person says. A person can say something to me and I find myself processing the conversation on multiple levels: the actual words, the personís tone of voice, his/her facial expressions and my own emotional reaction to the conversation. I think this sensitivity came about when I initially didnít understand the words in a foreign language: I had to expand my ability to understand a conversation while I caught up with learning the language.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When I was coming to France for work and living full-time in Florence, I could easily accept the darker days and gloomier weather because it was like having more variety in my life. Now that Iím settling into my life a little more in France while maintaining my life in Florence, I notice the differences even more. During the winter months, the sun rises late in the morning after Iíve already woken up. The skies have lately been a dark grey that lightens up by 9 am. I find that I try not to focus too much on the lack of light and focus on what I do like.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes. I read the post I wrote last year when I was in Florence. When the year began, I had no idea what changes were in store for me. Looking back now, itís as if my entire life changed in the blink of an eye even though it felt strenuous at times. This year I stayed in with my beau after having spent a few days in Saint-Malo (Brittany). I loved seeing the water, running along the beach, enjoying the local delicacies, taking in the fresh air, and recharging my batteries before 2013 began.

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