5 Dec

I am sitting in my room with the afternoon sun shining on the tops of the hill just outside my window. The cool brisk air and the hills which, while daunting to the New Orleans flatlander in me, make me happy just the same.

The hills and I have been getting to know each other a little bit, a path unfolding not far outside the door of Imke and Michael’s house. Legs complaining, heart beating as I greet the incline.  Optimally, grateful for the pull and the movement and the way. Benches placed along the path.  “Oh, sure, I’ll take a little break” as I surrender to the rest and the view.  It seems that whoever placed that bench knew what they were doing.

I am on my own for a little bit today.  A welcome balance being here… helping a little with chores around the house and easily allowed and welcome to spend much of my day as I like.  Time with the children too.  It has been a while since I have spent much time around kids.  A little hesitant to surrender and play, but grateful just the same.  Yesterday Skadi, their 5-year-old daughter, and I spent fun time simply playing with a plastic tube, kind of like a shot, pretending to give each other shots… then obviously being impacted by such shots… with a little drama.  And next, she tried to take off my scarf, and we made a little game of it. Eventually I ended up running down the stairs to the shelter of my room, Skadi chasing me, and me laughing and screaming like a little girl.  It is good being around these little mischievous creatures known as children. I think I may still have one or still children living… in me…perhaps hiding silently off in the distance… still a little timid to show their faces in this grown up adult world.

Spending some of my time… simply making connections with my grateful companion in the internet.  An organization that I belong to and participate in back in the states, called the Art of Living, has their European center not far from here. Nestled among the black hills it is a destination I long to see.  I learned today that the local community meets there every Sunday at 11am to practice the Kriya together, the main tool in the Art of Living toolbox.  Hurray!  Looking forward to that connection!

So grateful for the capacity to keep it simple, but also the encouragement to… get out and explore.  Every day Imke asking me, what are you going to do today?  Get out little bird!  See new things, meet the people!  Friday night I was delivered to the near-by city, Karlsruhe.  About 300,000 people there is enough energy there that it is brimming with some interest. There were a few Christmas markets that night in town, the smell and feeling of Christmas sneaking into my being.  Lit up Christmas tree at the heart of town, a small ice-skating rink, and plenty of warm yummy spirits to drink.  I even treated myself to a few tasty  festival snacks, a crepe and a good slice of pizza!  It has been in mostly warm Christmases for the past 13 years living in the land of New Orleans and the bayous.  But being here hits a little place in my heart where I remember, just a bit, what it was like to be a kid and that excitement of a wintry Christmas.  Michael even bought me an advent calendar all my own so I can open the calendar paper doors, discover a treat and count down the days until Christmas.

And today, it is just an ordinary day.  But how wonderful and lovely to have an ordinary day, here, in the Black Forest in Germany… some time on my own and getting to know and being connected to Michael and Imke.  Being sampled little words of German to repeat, offering them to their son Svante feeling like I am delivering a cryptic message… but somehow, he understands.  And feeling a little spirit of the season.  You know, something like…peace.

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