Probably about a year and a half ago, I was on a walk with my friend Daniel in his neighborhood of Schöneberg. I can’t remember where we were headed or why but as we passed a building a door was open and he said, “Oooo an open door, let’s go in.” I followed. He then explained that because the buildings in Berlin are so different and fascinating compared to where he moved from in New Jersey he always walks in an open door in Berlin to see the Hof and the tiles that might be in the entry way. He said, “You find such beautiful things if you just explore it.” In this particular adventure we did note some beautiful tile, an interesting hof area and some interesting carvings in the wall. Success!
I remembered that scenario as I have continued to explore around Berlin, even during pandemic times around our hood. My walks with the pups have become longer and longer and if there is a side street that looks interesting I go down it. If there is an open door, I go in it just to see. I have found myself in new little parks this way, down little streets next to lilac trees that smell heavenly and have seen some interesting tile.
Yesterday Ana and I went on two different long walks with the pups. In the morning we were walking back down a usual path when she looked up and over to a side street and said, “I have never been down that street.” I quickly turned to go down the street. She laughed in delight and said, “Ok, why not.” We did. We walked down the side street. The buildings were interesting and the doorways unique and now we have walked down that street.
In our afternoon walk I declared that we would go and find the lilacs I told her about so we set off and we talked about this peering into doorways that I do. We ended up finding the lilacs and then I wanted to show her this cool park and a church I like to go into. She turned to me and said, “I have lived here for like 6 years and have never seen these things. You find the most interesting things!” I replied, “well, if there is an open door you have to go through it to see the interesting stuff. I just keep exploring and looking and watching.”
It is not a bad way to navigate through the world. It takes a little more time but the pay off is so much more delight. Sometimes you get some dud doorways but you know eventually you will see something totally new.
This morning as I was reflecting on all of this I started to really miss the travelling that we have done in the past around this time. We have had to cancel four trips this season so far and it really bums me out. Part of why I love living here during this time is usually we get to travel and explore, learn and experience and now we are at home during prime travel months when the weather is lovely and the people are opening up and the food is good. But these little moments of open doors make it just a little bit more palatable. We are lucky to be healthy and have each other. We are lucky to be able to walk for kilometers and find the spaces of small delights but all the feels can exist especially in the in between spaces.