I can’t remember where I got this little travel magnifying glass, but it is perfect: 2 1/4 inches square, snaps open and closes with ease, and is mighty powerful.
Walking along examining little things is a beautiful way to be in solitude with nature. The only caveat is that it slows down my walking. Ah, but I have a springtime solution; take two walks a day. It is light enough for me to head out after supper for a little stroll up the street to the Wadsworth Cemetery.
I took this picture on my walk this morning. While photographing I was greeted by a friendly and chatty dog, followed from around the corner of the house by the owner.
Me being friendly and chatty: Gorgeous tree…. we must be grateful.... in fact, I’m taking a gratitude walk.
My neighbor being friendly and chatty: That’s why I’m doing in my back yard…. Sitting and being grateful.
Florence is crowded. I knew it would be, but being on the streets with everyone doesn’t come close to reality. I don’t mind the crowds.. I want to be here, and so do others.
tTomorrow I’ll get out at 7Pm and walk the streets while many are sleeping. But for today, there is a slide show of my first wander about my favorite city. Hmm, I did do a very good job photographing the crowds.
A spring walk. Why travel? At least why hop into the car today? I’ve walked this four mile loop, in every season, hundreds of times. Each is the same, each is different. Sometimes I walk with a friend or talk on the phone with my daughter; sometimes I chat with myself as I go along. But, today I took pictures which is the best way to stay immersed in what is happening NOW.
It was winter melting away and spring quivering to take charge. We New Englanders knew it would happen, but on this day, we tell whomever we pass, that yes, indeed, spring is finally here, for sure.
Listen to the pictures. The winter was rough on the trees.
I’m back walking. After strolling all over Florence early in December, and daily walks in Lancaster, PA with my daughter at Christmas time, my daily exercise came to an abrupt halt. We returned to a New England of frozen pipes, zero temperatures, and snow blocking the walkway in front of our house. I stopped scheduling a walk into my daily schedule. My bad.
Now, with the weather warming up, there is no excuse; only adjustments need. Today I drove half a mile up the road, parked at Our Lady of Fatima church, and walked my usual back roads. A simple solution. Don't give up walking.
When in Florence during spring and fall I must walk at least ten miles a day. In December I do a little less. The temperature is colder and daylight hours diminished, but that’s not an acceptable excuse since the temperature is decidedly above freezing and the streets are well lit. Rather, I believe that the dark and cold of winter call us to hunker down and take stock of our faith, by which I mean the meaning and purpose of our life. If nothing else, we walk slower to breathe in this awesome, mysterious, and humbling world, wondering where we fit in.
I just completed the second half of my church walk. This time I headed north from the Duomo to San Marco (Dominican), and then on to Santissima Annunciata (Servite). As I turn toward Santa Croce (Franciscan) I noticed San Ambrosia way down the street, so I took a detour there. Next, back toward city center to La Badia and Orsanmichele. I was all over the map! Before ending this church walk at Santa Trinita, I crossed the Arno to Santa Felicita, then crossed back to view Santi Apostoli, one of the oldest and pretties churches in Florence. It’s fair to say that my final destination was to Chiaro Scuro, where they serve the largest cappuccino and provide a comfy place to write.
This morning I was off on my early morning church walk by 7:30. My plan was to stop and photograph the façade of every church and then be on my way. Usually I don’t have a planned itinerary when I take this walk; my body seems to turn in one direction, I put one foot in front of the other, and I’m on my way. Since all the churches of Florence fan out from Santa Marie del Fiori (and conveniently my apartment is right on the square), it was appropriate that my first photo was of the Duomo. My route then led to the Medici church of San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Novella (Dominican), church 0f Ognissanti (Umilati), Santa Maria del Carmine (Carmilite), and Santo Spirito (Augustinian).
Usually I complete my church walk in a single morning, but today I stopped to write and enjoy a cappuccino at Piazza Santo Spirito. As I entered the café I noticed antiques and craft vendors setting up booths to sell their wares. By the time I left, the early dawn atmosphere for a church walk had passed, and the busy Florentine day had begun. I wander about the stalls, deciding to finish my church walk at dawn tomorrow.
When I read the headlines this morning my heart sank with the possibility that we could be at war in the near future. To get out of my funk, I decided to take a walk for peace. I crossed the Arno, entered the Bardini and Boboli Gardens, and took pictures along the way; some showed the vibrant December afternoon sun, others were rather dark and foreboding, and one depicted human beings at their worst.
All along my walk Brunelleschi’s dome kept appearing, a harbinger of stability, commitment and truth.
No one knew that I was walking for peace, but maybe they sensed something hopeful. I wonder if I passed anyone with the same intention? I hope so, and I’m foolishly hopeful enough to believe it could true.
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