Florence, Italy

There was a cool crisp, breeze. A shaft of sunlight appeared above the terracotta roof tiles. It was Monday morning but it didn’t matter which morning it was as all the days had seamlessly rolled into each other.

I was happy to finally be up before 10 am. I stood in the only small sliver of warmth at my dresser in front of my bedroom window.

Out of the silence, the bark of a dog in the distance punctured the air as though it were dusk in the countryside somewhere. But this was the city. A city on lockdown, in the midst of crisis, in a country where thousands had died and continued to perish on a daily basis. Whilst we sat; obedient, uncertain, the spring sun shone down outside and our bodies yearned for a walk in the park, along the riverbanks, down to the piazza for lunch.

I wished that I were near the ocean, beside a field, next to a trail, where I could disappear for a few hours. Where nobody would notice me or stop me. Where I didn’t have to fill out a form to say where I was going.

But I settle, accept, and appreciate almost, the fact that I am alone. No children to tug on me, no partner to distract me, no external opinion. Just me, in the quiet of my space, my thoughts, my being. Freedom in the stillness, to roam my inner landscape, to look under the stones I have left unturned, all the flowers I hadn’t noticed that had bloomed and seeing all the dead weeds I’d clung onto in the hope they’d one day turn into fruit trees.

Here lying bare in a field of dreams. Some hardly alive, some stillborn, some fighting for their lives, upon barren soil that had been raked over too many times. In a desert where the afternoon gusts had swiftly snatched the life force away from them and there they lay shaking, in shock and grief.

And now the breeze has turned into a strong wind but I don’t want to close the window. Not just yet, whilst the sun is there for just a few more minutes.

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