One month ago today, I found myself holding his hand strolling along the crooked, winding streets of Florence, Italy, the sun warm on the back of my neck. Together, we climbed the many treacherous steps up to Michelangelo’s Hill and we looked out across Tuscany at the city I’d fallen in love with years ago on our first holiday together. I love the jumbled houses, I love the terracotta domes and I love the sprinkling of greenery hiding in amongst the fairy-tale city. We stopped to absorb the perfect view and we kissed amongst the hustle and bustle of tourists and men selling souvenirs. We decided to keep climbing.
We wandered up through gardens, stopped to look inside an old church and sat on a park bench to rest our weary legs. We laughed, his arm around me and we spoke about the family we would have one day. I told him that I thought we should go back; it was going to be a long walk back to our apartment. But he insisted we keep going, so we did. We walked and walked until we found a tiny, winding path hidden in amongst flicks of golden grass which lead into what looked like a never-ending forest of tall, dark poplar trees. I stopped to take a photo. He took my hand and pulled me down the path.
We walked amongst the trees dazzled by the beauty of the secret spot we had found. Behind every tree was a view more stunning than before and the sun was warm and dappled around us. It was as if the world was sparkling. We stopped to look out over Florence again and he took my face in his hands. This is when my memory begins to fade, in and out like old film. I remember the touch of his hands, his voice telling me he loved me and that the first five years of our lives together had been his most special, I remember interrupting him to tell him I agreed and I remember him slipping a ring onto the second finger of my left hand while I buried my head into his shoulder, suddenly shy. Then I remember kisses and smiling and giggling that didn’t end for hours after it started. I remember him picking me up and twirling me amongst the trees and I remember him yelling to the world that we were getting married as church bells rang in the background. I remember an overwhelming sense of elation and joy as if for the next few days, everywhere we went, I was floating in a dream.
I’ve tried to capture these moments and feelings on paper, with paint, and with pencil but I just don’t seem to be able to do them justice (I’m not convinced that even the words I’ve just strung together are enough.) I have realised though that art is undefinable. People have tried, people will always try to impose their own criteria on what an artwork needs to be considered real ‘art.’ Art is every-changing, ever-evolving and ever-moving with the ebb and flow of human consciousness.
What can be more beautiful, more thoughtful or more artistic than this love that we have created together? My favourite work of art.