When I woke up, the sky was pale and clear in Florence. Empty suitcases and scattered pieces of my time here call out to me and remind me that soon this bed will no longer be mine. I heard my roommate Katie turn the stove on to make the coffee this morning and shuffled out in my slippers to meet her and the morning. She waved, her arm still heavy with sleep and eyes that told me they were not ready to see daylight just yet. Coffee comes first, then the brioche, and then a piece of fruit…force, maybe. I mull over my day’s labors in my head, still foggy with dreams and good-byes all said last night and over the last few days. Some by train, some by plane, some to stay behind in the Italy I’ve come to know.
I can say easily that I came with heartache and left in love…and with a cold too, apparently. Where did the time go? It must have passed me while I was climbing up to San Miniato or taking the train with Rosie, Ali, Haley, and Louisa to Viareggio. Maybe it passed me on my run to meet Mariel and Ali at the Duomo…when I was already twenty minutes late….or maybe time was an insane bicyclist that sped by Katie, Haley on their walk back home from Full Up. It was time well spent, sitting in a sunny park with Marcin or laughing about Leonardo with Marco and Micah. Time well noted as Katie and I hear “Bambine! Pronto!” at eight o’clock and know its time for another Italian meal with chef Mauro and the loving social commentator, Medy. Time forgotten when I arrived fifteen minutes late to Italian with Liz, Annie and Tiffany every single day I can remember.
The full weight of this program ending hit me hardest this morning. It’s in these peaceful hours that I can hear my host parents snoring in their bedroom and the click of stove-top coming to life. The hum of a light as Katie switches on the bathroom light. These sounds and their makers will be memories in just a few hours. It’s the way my days come to life in a certain place and with certain people, that is the heaviest and one of the most meaningful pieces of wherever I go.
I’ll be staying here for a few more days with my dad, but the people who’ve woven the tapestries of my time here are scattering all over the home country. I think of what waits for me at home and tasks yet to be done in my last year of a child’s education. Let’s be honest, college students are just big kids until they graduate. I don’t know where I’ll be in two years time or who I will be with, but I hope its where I want to be and with those who love me. Here, in Florence, I was where I wanted to be and with those who grew to love me and I them. Yes, we’ll be all over the US…but it’s a skype date, plane ride, phone call, long drive away from one another. Who knows? We may find ourselves all brought together again someday. I carry you all in my heart.
My time here has been a novel unto itself…and maybe that’s what it will become for me, a novel I write. For now, I’ll stick to the songs I write about loves made, people met, rules broken, and those I’ve lost and cannot forget. Cara Firenze, tu sei sempre in mio cuore e, spero, che io sono sempre parte di te. Arrivederci, Firenze…a dopo. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Cheers - Adriana