08 April 2012

La Dolce Vita - Palm Sunday in Florence, Italy

Today, Palm Sunday, is a busy day in Florence. Those people who carry neither palm nor olive branch after church services instead participate in an "Avon Running" event on the streets of Florence.

Meanwhile, I awakened to two messages that notify me of a heavy workload that begins today and must be completed by Friday.  The nature of my work is feast or famine, and recently it has been famine. Today, this beautiful spring morning, it seems, begins the feast.  I suppose it appropriate, though, as it is spring.  So begins anew the cycle of growth.
And yet I find it a challenge to stay indoors when the outdoors calls me to come out and play.
With work to be done, I may not be able to play, but I have chosen a compromise. 
You can find me in Giardino Bardini -- once the backyard of the Bardini family, now a public garden (my recent post) -- doing my work, but outdoors in a gorgeous setting.  A gentle cool breeze keeps the warm sun from becoming too intense. When I lift my eyes from my work, right in front of me are dozens of yellow butterflies that fluter about on the spring flowers in bloom.  I have a rooftop view of the historical center and Brunelleschi's Duomo.  And in the distance I can see the hills of Fiesole and Settignano.  The music I hear is a surround-sound medley of melodic birds, church bells each quarter hour, and the calm, tranquil sound of two fountains just off to my left. Sure beats being indoors!
There is a kind of sliding scale between polar opposites, and finding the right balance is like hitting a tennis ball on the sweet spot of the racquet. Although the work must be done by me, today I find a way to compromise and still reap the benefits. Sometimes we must make the best of what is.  And sometimes when we surrender to what is, we come to find out it's not so bad after all.  In fact, it can be pretty good. Today proves one of those days. Today I experience that balance of steadfastness and ease-filled relaxation while I work and still enjoy this special day.

Such is the beauty of life in Italy.  La dolce vita!
[Written Palm Sunday, posted Easter Sunday, and I met the work deadlines.]