This morning as I sit down to write I am thinking about how we were walking in the sun along the Danube just about three weeks ago. It seemed as though things were just the perfect everything…temperature, state of being, our legs felt good to walk and the wine was excellent as we stopped to taste what was made in that place in Austria. We felt as though we were feeling a bit more normal in the world and perhaps at least in this particular part of the world COVID seemed under control a bit more. I felt as though I could maybe even see myself travelling home in the near future as the Autumn dared to start to bite at our heels.
Three weeks later and the world looks different. In Berlin, the numbers are spiking in COVID cases and hospitalizations even higher than when we first began with faster growing numbers than we have seen. People are full into Corona fatigue and so aren’t taking the precautions they did before. They think we have adjusted and continue on with their lives. To some degree I am in this camp to but this week has made those fears more present. The more infections and cases, hospitalizations and spreads, the more it will be that I can’t go home anytime soon. Some states in Germany are even saying that those coming from Berlin are high risk and should go into quarantine if they arrive.
Both Ana and I talk often about how now we really shouldn’t travel anywhere, maybe even not across the city, so that we limit our risk to ourselves and to others around us. To an extroverted 7 on the enneagram, there really couldn’t be sadder news in the world.
As you know from my last post, this week has carried an underlying melancholy for me and I continue to treat myself tenderly but also try to bring myself out of that space to move forward. Living in Berlin, I am not a stranger to homesickness and yearning. I continuously find myself discerning what I should be and do in this space.
But this morning I am also looking at the small delights of the day. Yes, the world holds many tremendous challenges right now BUT here are a few things I am delighting in….
- Reflections about our previous adventures. While I can’t plan further adventures now, I can remember walking along the Danube and singing “I have confidence” through Salzburg. Evidence here…
- i opened my school page today and glanced at where I keep waiting for a few grades and low and behold there are two grades there that weren’t there before and they are much better than I anticipated! What nice affirmation!
- My Visa appointment went from Dec. 7 to Monday after much pursuance yesterday and a winning moment.
- I have dear friends who are checking in with me this morning and know all of these feels so they aren’t quick to fix but eager to sit in it with me.
- This morning after bringing the dogs in, our 80 something year old neighbor came out to pet them and accidentally we let her door close, with her keys inside. Frau Roll and I figured out how to call her friend down the street for extra keys and we chatted and laughed and had a full neighborly encounter in German. This would not have been possible a year and a half ago. I am living with my German in this place. I brought her some Carrot Cake later (see previous post) to celebrate her getting into her apartment and we chuckled some more.
- I got into a class I didn’t think I would and I am pretty excited about it actually.
- Another clergy person reached out to see if I can preach for them for they desperately need a break and this is just the kind of thing I was made to do. Let me preach for you so that we can both do valuable work and feel as though we are doing what we can as we are called. (By the way, I am available for phone calls, preaching, writing, you name it…use me please).
- I have an amazingly supportive partner who just hugs me when I miss my family so much it hurts right now and when I lament that this Autumn is fine but Oregon autumn is like no other.
Small delights may just get us through right now. What do you think?