An Autumn Sunday morning in Florence. Sleepily, I pad into our crowded little kitchen for a cup of espresso. The air has the vaguely musty smell of wash left on the drying rack mixed with the lingering scent of garlic infused with last night’s Parmesan cheese. I wedge myself between the drying rack, the washing machine and the sink to get to our little vertical slit of a kitchen window. Reaching over the bottles of olive oil and partially consumed table wines, I open the little portal of our own lives, and in floods a whole panorama of Florentine roof tops, historical sites and Italian sounds.
It happens to be the day the clocks are set back an hour, this in a city where the experience of time can be set back centuries. A few blocks over, Giotto’s Campanile and Brunelleschi’s Duomo hold center stage in this piccolo panoramico, yet this Sunday morning it is the even closer bell tower of the Church of San Gaetano that captures attention. Throughout most of the week, the bell sounds emanating from this often under-appreciated baroque edifice reminds one of pots and pans slowly sliding off a shelf. This day however, large bells are being hand-rung by energetic clergy in the tower, their sonorous harmony resonating with those longings for peace and harmony held deep within my heart.
It is silent now. The full cup of espresso remains untouched. My heart is touched to over-flowing.