"Life is a balance between holding on and letting go."
It is our last evening in Florence. In the background Italians are singing on the television. It's only the second time I have turned on the television in our month-long stay here but it seems appropriate tonight to have it on...to hear the language and, in this case, the music.
Most of today has been spent packing, shipping a few things home, cleaning our apartment and getting ready for our early departure tomorrow. I have also let my mind wander to life's departures, beginnings, endings...this familiar cycle for all of us. One of the most interesting things to me is how you can simultaneously be very sad to leave but entirely ready to go. This is true of many things in life.
When it comes to travel, it is exciting to arrive in a new place, see what life is like, how people live, how people treat one another and visitors. The air of a new place not only smells different, it feels different. In some places, you can almost feel the air touch you and surround you and fill you. If the air is fresher than where you came from, this is especially wonderful. Of course, there are places where you wish you had a face mask but even those are the smells of a place, a part of the culture you are standing in.
The paradox of holding our sadness to leave but readiness to go is often true of moves, homes, partnerships, jobs, travel, and even death. I feel a sadness, I would even say a heaviness in some ways, about moving on from Florence tonight while at the same moment, not wanting to stay another day. Maybe it is self-preservation to help us let go of things...this interior shift that takes place inside of us when the choice is made, or the time is up, that gives us strength to move on with resolve, peace, and a feeling of excitement and anticipation of what is to come.
My son and I plan to return to Florence one day but, for now, we say so long and thank you.