Creating light when its getting dark

The sun rose this morning at 7:22am and will set at 4:18 pm. It is getting darker and darker around here. When I took the pups out this morning the sun was just thinking about maybe rising at 7:15ish and it was coooolllldd. It was 32 degree F and 0 degrees C. Cold. Frost on all things, see your breath, shiver as you go out and come back in kind of cold. Its the cold that makes that first sip of coffee all the sweeter when I walk back in to a pot of coffee that was brewing while I was walking the pups.

This sunset at 4pm thing (that will get even earlier still) makes for long dark nights. I came home from nannying on Tuesday at 5:30 and it felt as though I arrived home in the middle of the night. The moon was hanging low and we could see the fog low too.

In this imminent darkness, we are trying to create some light too.

Tomorrow we are flying to Tenerife, an island off of the coast of Africa in the Canary Islands, so technically Spain although geographically not. It is promising to be 72 degrees F (22 degrees C) and fairly sunny. We are seeking out what we need to get ready for more dark. After a week, we are flying to Madrid to see a friend. Germany is also record high in corona cases but Spain is still showing green in the stats so I am glad to escape the anxiety of Germany and these cases for a week. We are chasing more light.

So today we are packing and cleaning and getting the pups ready to go with their caretakers (or stay with a friend at our place as Luna will). We are wrapping up loose ends enough to be away for 10 days and I am reflecting on today.

Not only are we chasing light by leaving for a few days, today is a festival of light. Today is St. Martin’s Day here in Germany. Traditionally, the story of St. Martin is told and children make laterns to traverse the city with.

I am sure we will see a few around our neighborhood, creating a little extra light here and there. I like this little festival. It is different than our celebration of Veteran’s Day in the US today but I like the differences to be honest with this one.

Yesterday I taught two sections of a Bachelor’s tutorial for the first time. I am working as a tutor for a literature professor this semester. It is nice to feel useful and even with a mini job feel as though I am contributing in this way. But beforehand, in my nervousness about this first one, I went for a walk in the neighborhood of Dahlem, the neighborhood where our university is. It is a far west neighborhood and is a bit more traditional than where I live. I stumbled across a Catholic church with signs in English and German and it was open. I wandered in and roamed around the Sanctuary. I lit a couple of candles for a few friends who have been on my heart and had a talk with Jesus while I sat to calm my nerves and anxieties. It was a perfect way to include a little more light yesterday.

Any way to add light right now is welcome around here.

Plus who could forget the cow gargoyle…

A necessity in at least a more lighthearted way of seeing things. But really as I think on adding light and comfort during these weird times. I keep flashing on ways that I have been with people and we take the time to really sit with one another and add value to our lives. The other day I was invited to a friends’ place for coffee. With great care, she had made us coffee and a little pear pie that was just…perfect. The crust, made from scratch, was buttery and comforting, the pears were perfect sweetness and the cinnamon just the right balance. I thought I would just be there for a bit but it turned into three hours until we both had to run to a next thing. Ana often jokes that with this friend I tend to lose time. I say, “Going to Eva’s! Be back in like two hours!” And she will yell back “Ok! see you in more like 5 or 6 hours!”

But I have to say, there is nothing more full of light then not having a hurried schedule in order to enjoy pie and coffee with a friend you lose time with. Ana and I have been spending more time just hanging out with each other for this reason too. We chat and laugh, without screens on or nearby. We don’t have to have distractions to enjoy each other’s presence. And in those moments it all feels so much more doable in the world. Don’t you agree?

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