I’m not a Catholic, but I like going to churches in Milan particularly when they are empty, except for other solitary types like me, moving about quietly in the shadows, observing the quiet and the play of light with dark.
Sometimes, the churches have gardens or cloisters, and these spots, particularly this time of year, are magical for just sitting and for—as the Jesuits at my children’s school say—reflecting. The Jesuits talk a lot about the importance of reflection. I couldn’t agree with them more, although I don’t do it often enough.
Yesterday we went to the cloister at Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is probably best known for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s Cenacolo, “The Last Supper.” The flowering trees are in full bloom there, planted in the four corners of the tiny symmetrical garden. Arches and columns frame your view no matter where you look. You feel protected, safe with your own thoughts. And no matter what you believe, the presence of that belief is with you here in this tiny space: Faith—in something good.