April Showers and I Am a Flower

M.A. in Political Science, European Union Policy Studies

By Sophia DeLucca

Walking home from Saturday morning yoga class by the Duomo, a breeze bounces on my skin. The promenade around the center is my favorite part of Florence. Every mile I add to my broken-in sneakers, makes me feel more at home. With an eager mind and open heart, I embrace all that I can of everyday Italian simplicities. I look forward to the walks to class, the caffé, the yoga studio, the steps by Piazza della Signoria, and the gelato shops. Anywhere I can place my feet on cobblestone sidewalks, I am there. The narrow streets, secrets, character, and livelihood of Florence touch the bottom of my shoes. It seems that the Italian market is the perfect place to gather ingredients for a self-growth recipe. To bloom, one must have bountiful resources of water and nurturing soil. Florence’s rich ground is famous for the fruit it bears.

I open my eyes and today’s sky is a little different. The clouds are moving at a different speed than the day before. The transition period between then and now is a particularly mindful one. Change is subtle when ancient history illuminates the scene. I continue to notice the birds chirping, the clock tower ringing, and the espresso machine spewing steam into someone’s next daily cup of hot brew. The patterns of the Italian way of life are anything but mundane. Taking note, I have learned not to fear what some might describe as average behaviors that will ultimately amount to most of my time on Earth. The drinking of coffee, walking around, people-watching, getting more gelato, all these daily habits are both special to Florence and yet universal in a sense. Perhaps because of the newfound beauty, I am appreciating the once-thought inconspicuous nuances even more. Perhaps because Italians appreciate the gradation of life, I am witness to such a thing. 

As Spring blossoms, I am also prototyping my identity. Constantly evolving, I sometimes fear that all the good things about my groove, the happy subtleties of chocolate croissants or getting out of bed in the morning, will one day become less interesting. Gazing into my upside-down reflection in the Arno River, eating a panino for pranzo, adding a scarf to my outfit so people don’t look at me like I’m cold, window-shopping… All unfamiliar yet comforting forums for enthusiasm. Immersed with the refinement and careful detail of the Italian ways, I have managed to let go of the control I once sought when completing everyday actions in the past. I have discovered that enjoying what makes life so silly and recognizable must be accompanied with constant evolution and self-growth. The customary routine of the Italian lifestyle has sparked my appreciation for the commonalities we all share. Spring in Italy has made me realize the significant strides I have taken. The beauty of this magical continuation, of the personal growth story of a girl in an unusual setting, lies in the regular smell of coffee, the hungry, crumb-driven pigeons at lunch hour, the relaxation of leaning against cement walls, and the ringing of the bell tower clock at each turn of the hour. I arrive at my doorstep and feel fulfilled, rooted, and sprouting.

Sophia DeLucca is an EUPS student pursuing the Economic and Social Policy track. In May 2020, Sophia graduated from JMU with her Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies with a concentration in Advocacy, and minors in Environmental Humanities and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. After graduating from the EUPS program, Sophie aspires to work in environmental public policy and global communications.

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Published: Monday, April 18, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2024

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