Ups and downs and all arounds

An Up – Yesterday, as I was nannying, I loaded little William (10 months old) up in his stroller and headed out on a walk. As is his tendency he didn’t last long before he was fast asleep. I often think this would be a delightful way to take a nap.  As is my tendency I headed to the neighborhood gardens that are just a few blocks away. If you don’t know it, Germany has these gardens that can be huge in which families, probably for generations, have these little plots of land. They aren’t like our US community gardens with boxes of veggies but almost every plot has a little house on it and a yard and then flowers and veggies and trees. They are so beautiful.  This particular garden is huge and I can spend hours in it walking and looking and admiring. I am starting to get to know it really well. So much so that I can see how things are coming along.

Right now, the roses and other flowers are popping with color and vibrancy. I can feel my heartrate slow and my eyes open wide. I take picture after picture to send to my nieces. I just can’t get enough and it restores some piece of me that is tired of the concrete of the city.

Another up – As we have been stuck in Berlin and even more specifically around our neighborhood I have spent way more time investing in our space and our surroundings.  This means that our balcony is starting to really look lush and green and I am even growing zucchini and tomatoes on it but it also means that I have been trying to get to know our neighbors more as well.  I know one of our building neighbors really well but I set out to really get to know who I hear is really cool in our building. I had coffee with one neighbor and then tracked down another to talk about gardening.

This week, after meeting a few really cool neighbors and realizing that we are all women about the same age, I sent out a group text and said, “hey, lets get together!” And we did!  We gathered in a burgeoning courtyard garden and we brought snacks, wine and ourselves and we stayed out there for hours, laughing and talking deeply and it was incredible. We have incredible neighbors.  We all walked away so thankful and full. A win! A definite win!

Someday I will invited them over for squash and tomatoes.

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Up –  Clergy session happened yesterday for Oregon-Idaho clergy on zoom. I got to participate. I got to vote. I got to be present even though far far away.  I thought I would miss it this year and here we are. Was it waaayyyy longer than anticipated? Of course! But I was there for the snark about that as well.

Down – Lately, in the midst of COVID and protests and watching from afar, I only get more and more homesick.  Ana booked a trip to Serbia for a few weeks in a week or so and I burst into tears that I couldn’t also return home anytime soon.  I am thrilled she gets to go hug on family and eat all the foods and see Belgrade. And at the same time I am sad that I can’t go to protest with my people and hug on them and give the nieces and nephews hugs directly. All the feels are happening all of the time and for good reasons.  We decided it was best for me to stay with our pups and plants while she went which is also a down but we understand each other so well that it is ok, I can still be happy for her and supportive of her trip and sad at the same time.  I am sure so many of you are feeling all the feels as well.

All around – my heart aches for all that is happening in our world. Black Lives Matter and I will continue to say so. I will continue to read, learn, listen, discuss, educate myself and others, watch and overall pray and pray and pray.  There are so many words to say and also no words so much of the time.

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