Coming back is somewhat like sitting in an old armchair. It’s perhaps not quite as comfortable as you remembered, but it is comforting.
In absence, you may forget the rough edges on the arm rests, the lumps that dig into your back unless you sit just so. But nevertheless, the familiar is moulded to you, and that in itself, is something quite special.
Returning ‘home’ after the long, long, long summer away, we were all as excited as we were apprehensive.
The months spent in rustic wild France amongst family and friends had been firey, triggering, amazing, beautiful. The months spent in London had been productive, stressful, fun and tiring. But throughout we were always aware of the temporary nature of the present. Always an end in sight, to dread… to look forward to.
The return, feels a little different.
The novelty worn, is replaced with recognition and a strange feeling of belonging. What once was strange, exciting and confusing is now more of a nuisance, an everyday niggle or a delight.
And yet despite, this new-found familiarity, Firenze remains a treasure still to be discovered. The winding, dirty, cobbled roads, now no longer impact the senses the way they once did. When their shear physical existence would thrill the eyes and imagination when compared to the many other European cities we know and love.
But instead, the depths of the unknown boutiques, the quarters we usually ignore or simply transit through seem more inviting.
It is a subtle nuance.
A change of gear. The surface now well understood, we are finding there is hidden depths to the vibrant veneer.
This city continues to reward generously with its beauty, its style, it’s quirks. And I am more comfortable navigating through the canyonesque ravines as well as through conversation in Italian. When no space is available, I will double park my car at the closest spot to where I need to be and simply smile, in the knowledge no one will bat an eyelid.
I am no longer put off by threadbare table cloth and plastic chairs in an old osteria, which is no bigger that a bathroom, knowing that the decor is directly antipodal to the quality of the food served.
I drink coffee standing at the bar and Aperols sitting at the table.
And we continue to make new friends and deepen our roots. Perhaps not firmly planted yet, but certainly less incorporeal.