I remember the day I first saw you. I swear that is the only time I ever believed in ‘love at first sight’. You were as calm as the meditating soul. Your passing wind soothed my beating heart.
In that first ride to my new house, I knew. I knew you were going to be my home. I knew you would mend all of my aching slits, stitch after stitch. Each day you bestowed me with a new beautiful day to inspire me, to metamorphose me, even more poetically than the phoenix rising from its ashes.
I knew, one day, I would say goodbye. Chasing your dreams can sometimes be a painful journey. I knew leaving you would shatter my soul into little pieces, strewed all around your streets and alleys and piazzas and bridges. But dear Florence, you deserve so much more than my little-scattered pieces.
As I say goodbye, pondering over the Santa Trinita bridge, I become forever yours. The joys you have given me, the memories of which will wander along through all my journeys. My sorrows, the memories of the flowing Arno river will always wash away.
So, as I leave this place, I request you to take care of me. For ‘the me as I know it’ has become ‘the me as I knew it’. I am leaving behind this version of me for it is only in your shadows did she glow bright. Let your pink skies continue to set away all my anxieties. Let your rising blues continue to give me hope. Let the shining gold, always guide my heart home, just like the Duomo always guides us in its warm embrace. Let you ringing bells, help me rise every time I stumble. Let your art, keep my imagination flowing and let your symmetry create order in my life. Let your changing skies give me strength and inspire me to never stop, come what may.
Take care of me when I am gone. Just like you have over the past year.
The girl who never really left.