Today is what we call in the church world, Ascension Day. For church goers this day is at the end of Jesus time on earth. No more re appearing in flesh form. No more walking through doorways and appearing on beaches. No more touching of wounds or breathing peace. He ascends into heaven on this day.
This is the public holiday here that I think is the funniest name as well. Himmelfahrt. Go ahead. Say it out loud. I dare you not to giggle. Everything is closed here today on this public holiday. Everyone has the day off and the public transit runs less frequently. It is pouring down rain all day here and grey and cold.
Last year on this day the clouds were out and the sun was shining. Not this day. Two years ago on this day I was in Nice, France to celebrate my birthday. Not this year. Four years ago on this day we were walking in the Meseta in Spain just about to reach Leon and make some decisions about our next stop. Not this year.
BUT this year we are snuggly and warm in our place. We just took Pushki to the dog hotel and Luna is in my lap glaring at the person cleaning our place so it is ready for our house sitter/Luna sitter. We are leaving early tomorrow morning for Belgrade so that Ana can get her second dose of Biontech and we can celebrate my 40th birthday with Ana’s family instead of here in our apartment again.
I am incredibly anxious but also excited. I am anxious because this is the first time in 7 months that I have left Berlin. I had to take a PCR test yesterday and everyone who gets on the plane has to have a negative test. We will all be wearing medical masks. We are both half vaxxed (me almost) and all of Ana’s family is vaccinated. When we get to Belgrade, her parents will pick me up and we will go to get her shot and then to the village where they live. We are taking all of the precautions and yet I can’t help feel this extreme caution. It feels a little like emerging out of something that feels safe and I am not quite sure how to do this anymore and yet it will be good. It will be exciting and lovely. It will be spending time in nature instead of surrounded by concrete. It will be a break from the routine and from dogs (who I will miss but it will be nice to not have to take care of them for 10 days).
So on this Himmelfahrt day it does feel a little like a hinge that will eventually lead to Pentecost. A new chapter. A new way forward, little by little.
How will you look up to see Christ rising in the sky?