A year ago on this day we were on a plane headed back to Berlin. I couldn’t imagine what 2020 would hold for us. I was so sad to return to Berlin and already missing my people in the US. If you know anything of Berlin, to arrive back to our place on New Years Day was a huge mistake. The fireworks that go off on New Year’s Eve leaves the city the next day looking desolate and trashed. I couldn’t believe we had willingly walked back into this space…why didn’t we stay in Portland? I thought I would be returning in a few months so I put it aside to reinvest in our life here.
Little did we know what this year would bring and little did I know that I wouldn’t return to the US yet. But also a year ago we were taking on parts of life that we wanted to take on. For the first few months of the year we went on some cool travels and explored the city more. When we returned from Switzerland in the beginning of March, the pandemic was just starting to appear as something we should be careful about. When we went into lockdown on March 17th or so, we had no idea what the rest of this year would hold.
This is true for all of us. We have all had our journeys and our realizations. We have all had unexpected gifts of this time and have seen and created beauty. We have all had our highs and low lows. We are all exhausted by this year.
So as NYE approached this time we wanted to make Serbian foods we love and spend that time to welcome in the New Year with one friend and our pups with good wine and good food and good company. We did this yesterday.
We went to a grocery store that is more centered on Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Turkish foods even more specifically. I love this store with its aisles of coffee, cheeses, and Turkish Delight. I wander and refrain from taking all the sweets. We got our phyllo dough and white cheese and a few extra sweets and came home to make food. Our friend Sam came over a bit later and we had courses of yummy foods that Ana spearheaded with me as a sous chef and we opened great wine from our favorite winery in Sicily (oh, to go back to Sicily in the future!). We protected our very scared husky and our little dog had no problems. We talked about the new year and our goals and our dreams of travel. We had a countdown with bubbles at midnight.
Watching 2020 pass has been bittersweet but welcoming 2021 is sweet in and of itself. We will continue to grow.
Our neighbor brought us an Amaryllis and watching it open yesterday gave me great joy! What timing and how symbolic! This plant shoots up and gives the most beauty in this short amount of time. I have hopes 2021 can be the same. I know things won’t change overnight but hope is alive today.