Monday, April 4, 2011

A Baptism

Yesterday afternoon we attended a baptism here in Florence. Lara’s parents, Lia and Lorenzo, have been good friends to Leif since he moved to Florence and we were so honored to be included in the family and friends asked to witness her baptism.

We biked to the church with Barbara, another friend of Leif’s (and now mine.) Yes, biked. I wasn’t going to walk 3k in heels and the bus just seemed like a crazy idea on such a beautiful day. I have to say we looked pretty snazzy cruising down the street. Barbara felt there should be a picture, so here we are at out most elegant while still being able to climb on a bike.

Four children were baptized that afternoon in a beautiful little church. Dust danced in shafts of sunlight coming in through the windows at the bottom of the dome as we watched the ritual of baptism. It is awe-inspiring and emotional to watch this. It is quite an affirmation of faith in this day to watch parents bring their children and place them in the hands of God. To entrust family, friends and their faith community with the spirit of this child that they love so dearly is truly a gift to us.

Once the ceremony ended we all walked out the door of the church, took about 20 steps to the left, and turned into the neighborhood park. There we found a table filled with goodies. Sweets and snacks, meats and pizzas (oh yes), fruits and naturally a little wine. Lara lay in her stroller, looking and acting like a little angel as everyone fluttered around her. She accepted this attention graciously and the rest of the afternoon was spent talking with other guests and eating good food while standing in glorious sunshine. Green grass tickled our ankles (well, mine anyway), butterflies fluttered from place to place and children were everywhere laughing and running and enjoying life.

When we left we were given a box of confetti. I wasn’t sure why they were giving us little pieces of paper, but I am in a different country so I smiled and took it. It seems that what confetti means in Italian is sugared almonds. So I got to spend the day in the park with great food, great friends, AND they gave me candy. It was a great day!

This afternoon I have friends arriving from the states. I am so, so, so excited to see them. I am officially apologizing in advance for probably not writing as often as I have been. But only for about a week. Then it’s back to the grindstone. I mean, back to sharing my experiences with those I love so dearly.

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