“…be still with me in bella Italia. This is the essence of dolce vita.”
So there I was coming down the interior stairwell in a large apartment building. As I stepped onto the 2nd floor landing, I heard beautiful music wafting in from an open stained glass door in the foyer. I was confused why there was a door and assumed it was a balcony. Curious about the music, I stepped around to look out and saw this enchanting secret garden.
It is hard to define perfection. At 4 p.m. there was a heavy, indolent feel to the hot sun as it refused to give up its grasp on the longest day of the year. Yet, the shade of the old olive tree and vines cooled the space by several degrees. I could hear crickets and birds dueling for notice above the piano serenade next door. The grass needed tending, but offered a casual backdrop for the empty pots, and broken lawnmower.
I heard the gnome say, “Don’t think about the grass and weeds. Unfold the chair and sit in the shade with me. Count the hydrangea blooms. Watch the butterflies and bees. Savor the solstice and be still with me in bella Italia. This is the essence of dolce vita.”
It moved me to tears.