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Monday, June 28, 2010

First morning in Firenze

Mornings always make me wince. The alarm demands attention and groggy confusion beats routine against the clock of the work day. Even the physical comfort of warm blankets become a source of guilt when lingering there only postpones the inevitable beginning to the day. But not this morning. 

Today I awoke to birds’ song and a pink sunrise over the foggy hills.  Little black angular bodies with their wings sharp and alert, pitched and dived over the terra cotta tiled roofs.  Just lying in bed and observing didn’t even occur to me... with my camera already in hand  I wandered to every window in the apartment I will call home for the next five weeks, 3 cats in tow rubbing against my bare feet. From the kitchen I watched the sun grace the city, catching at the uneven lines of tiling and puckering the peeling plaster. The gardens remained dark in the shadowed courtyards creating beautiful boundaries between morning and night. And just as the sun wrapped the Duomo in a cloth of pale gold, the first bells began.  A perfect morning in Florence.

It’s interesting to me how we become accustomed to a daily routine and how easily we take things for granted. In the absence of a favorite cup or the smell of one’s own in the blankets,  even making breakfast away from home (tea and crackers smothered in ricotta cheese)  becomes something entirely new and exciting. Living in a foreign country is a process of discovery in the smallest of things... from how differently even milk tastes to the unbelievable gratitude that can abound in finding a portable fan tucked away in the back room.