I took this photo on the last day of my first visit to Rome in October 2010. My mom and I were meandering through a maze of winding Centro Storico streets just behind Camp de’ Fiori when we stumbled upon this tiny alley. Everything about it encompassed Rome to me: from its narrowness to the hanging laundry to the jagged cobblestone to the parked motor scooter to the plants on the window ledges. The dark-coral-hued building coupled with the rays of sunlight reflecting off it each made the other more luminous. If we had passed this spot a few minutes earlier or later, the sun would have been in a completely different position and I wouldn’t have seen this street glistening as it was in that very moment.
This picture soon became–and still remains to this day–my iPad wallpaper. I was terribly sad in the moment I snapped it. I just didn’t want to return to New York. I wanted to carry on in Rome and start building a life for myself. The shot eventually served as my light at the end of the tunnel…whenever I would grow frustrated or mad at the world because I wasn’t living in Europe, I found solace in this image. It was calming. Almost like the sun peaking over the Roman rooftop was telling me, “Be patient. You’re almost there. Your time will come.”
And I’m here now, so it has. I’m grateful.