At the moment I am sitting on a little stone bridge along one of the hundreds of paths that make up this labyrinth of a garden. As I mentioned previously, I left my journal at home, so I’m doing all my writing on my MacBook Air—light as air and fits in my backpack.
In case you missed it in a previous blog, or who knows, in case I didn’t explain it very well, I have rented an apartment in Florence for a month. I’ll be alone for three weeks before my daughter joins me for last six days here and then three in Rome. This city isn’t new to me. I’ve been here at least twelve times, with my parents, my mom, and alone. My love for Florence started when I spent my junior year of college here way back when such programs hadn’t really started, and when most women age twenty didn’t travel alone. My parents and I wrote letters and on Christmas day they called from the States. Cell phones weren’t even a thought. This was my first extended journey into solitude, and believe me it was immersion. Sure, sometimes I was lonely, but that’s not what I remember. I remember learning to be independent. I remember walking the streets, visiting the museums and churches, reading, living in a pensione, and trying to speak and read Italian.
In retrospect I realize that it was here that I developed my love for solitude, a love which I fostered as a child with all my solitary play, but which came into its own that junior year, a year that I am repeating now in some ways during these three weeks. I glad I’m independent, and no, I’m not a bit lonely. No way!!