Grosse Lebensschule

8 Oct

Grosse Lebenscchule.  In english this means “Big School of Life”… these were the words offered to me today while walking with our bicycling visitor from the near-by town of Lüneburg… who is en route to Italy… temporarily delayed in the enchantment of the Seminar Haus and Wettenbostel.  He said “I think Europe for you is Grosse Lebensschule…”   I said, “I think you are right!”

Lesson 101:  Culinary skills.  It is no secret on this blog that work in the kitchen has been mostly a foreign affair for me.  Right next to learning German is the foreign land of the ins and outs of working and happily preparing, serving, and cleaning up in a kitchen.  This domesticy has leaked into my world… and somewhere in there I think i am beginning to see the lesson.  It lives somewhere in the world of generosity… and not far away from being of service. This week I have prepared a meal for our group every day.  Not a world record I know.  Many moms and grandmas and yes even dads I am sure would leave me in the dust without breaking a sweat.  But for me this is… growth. I am learning little by little good things that can be prepared in simple ways and with the inspiration of my host learning to prepare things a little sharp… that is English-German for a little zest!  a little spice! I prepared some vegetable curry the other day.  Very simply cooked with some cocoanut milk added at the end for flavor.  Served over rice.  Today I cooked a lentil soup.  I was teased a little as the red lentils no longer looked red, but I have to say it was quite good… particularly on this cold unmistakably autumn day.

This week has been a little out of the ordinary here in Wettenbostel.  Dan my loyal American companion on the porch was gone for a few days.  But do not fear, for in his place I was and continue to be surrounded by “the guys”… cast includes: our wonderful host, friend of seminar haus/electrician and “regular”  porch member who lives down the road, and our new bicycling friend.  Alway an interesting energy for me to explore… engage… disengage… laugh… go to my room and hide… do some yoga… hang out in the hot tub, go spend some time reading on my own.  It`s a new rhythm for me as someone who has previously spent so much time on me own.  I call it the Wettenbostel shuffle.

I have learned a little German this week.  English seems to be the unofficial language here at the Seminar Haus.  Most of us speak English… collectively we are American, Canadian and German.  But as our latest arrival is still developing his English… it only seems fair that I learn a little German.  It seems kind of selfish to be in Germany and ask Germans to bend to the whim of my English needs.  And yet my German is limited to phrases like Guten Morgen and while at times there is a certain pleasure of exploring the foreign sounds in my mouth… so far they don´t seem to stick.

This weekend we have a group of five sisters visiting for Bed and Breakfast and other than that just the simple excitement of the mixture of all of our lives and energies at work, rest and play.  My computer has been struggling as of late so this week it received some tender loving care from two of our kind and caring cast members and will soon be getting a new hard drive.  I have had less time to write without a computer but am glad to sneak a little time now on a borrowed laptop.

Surrounding farmers have been harvesting recently as I am surrounded by potato mountains on walks. I am layered up in my strategies for staying warm in Northern Germany for someone who has spent the last twelve years living in the sultry heat of the Louisiana bayous.  Nonetheless, so far so good.  Warm tea helps.  A little heat in my room and on occassion… a nice hot dip in the hot tub.

One Response to “Grosse Lebensschule”


  1. Little by little « - 11/09/2011

    […] by little.  That is my way in this “Grosse Lebenscchule“… “big school of life” here in Germany.  And then of course… what is […]

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