In the flow

15 Dec

Here I am… in the Black Forest… in the flow.  I will not be visiting here much longer… and some things are uncertain.  It seems I need to make some plans for what is next, but it also seems that life has a plan of its own.

Yesterday Imke gave me a Craniosacral treatment, a gentle but powerful form of body therapy.  She says that when you give Cranio, you may have a plan of what you might like to do… but the body has its own ideas where it will lead you. During the treatment, paying attention to the flow of my body,  Imke said, “your body is telling me that it has had enough…”  And so it was true.  Last night I found my body just wanting to give in and rest as the desire for sleep and relaxation overtook me.  This morning I woke up and just felt a little … better being me…. in distinct and noticable ways.

So for today, I am happy and content in the Black Forest with Imke and Michael and their children.  And what is next is still uncertain.  I have registered to participate in a ten-day Vipassana Retreat in the Netherlands over the holidays, but am on a waiting list.  Vipassana is a type of meditation.  The retreat is a silent one where you are taught and practice their style of meditation for ten days.  I have been in contact with them… and there is still a possibility that I might attend, there still may be an opening… but I will likely not know until next week.  I am so grateful for the possibility that I may get to go and still wondering, exploring and piecing together my plans.

The past few days in the Black Forest have been… pretty good.  Yes we have had our days of rain and weather, but still moments to sneak out and take in a little bit of the scenery.  A few days ago I headed out on a rainy afternoon, caught the train just steps from their door, and headed a little further into the Black Forest to a small town called Forbach.  With a chill in the air and the threat of rain, the sweet but quiet town was lovely… but beyond that … on this cold day it did not seem to have much to offer this Gypsy English-speaking traveler.  I stopped in a little bakery/coffee shop and grabbed a cup of tea.  I used my very small handful of German words and phrases and then resorted to my… “Do you speak English?”  Alas, here in this small town in the Black Forest… the answer was no.  So I enjoyed my tea.  Attempted to communicate a little using my hands and explanations… but just as I did not speak or understand Germany, they did not understand me.  So I thanked them and chose on the rainy afternoon to leave Forbach and explore a little further.

I went back to the train station and bought a ticket to go further still into a town I was advised to visit by Michael.  It is called Freudenstadt.  I was a bit hesitant of traveling to this destination as the wind and the rain picked up and the early evening sky was coming, but also wanting to get out and explore a little bit more.  So I endured the rain and carried on.  The train ride there is beautiful, even in the rain.  Michael said that this ride is known as on of the most beautiful train rides in Germany.  Surrounded by the hills, going through tunnels and valleys.  And just the feeling of being somewhere out, away from big cities in the open beauty of the Black Forest felt new… to me.

In about a half and hour or so I was in Freudenstadt.  There were three stops from the train that had Freudenstadt in their name… and I was unsure where to get off.  So I used my best judgement and got off at the main train station.  My first thought was, as it was almost 4pm, it was getting darker and the rain and the wind continued… I better figure when the train is returning.  Days earlier there had been a strike on the train line and I wanted to be clear and sure for myself that there was a way back.  I entered the train station and found the information center.  A friendly office with one person in line ahead of me.  Kindly, he offered for me to go ahead of him.  “I am an English speaker” I let him know in a friendly way.  Luckily he understood.  I let him know I was in no hurry and so he went ahead to get his questions answered.  As I was next in line, the employee at the train station asked him to stay and help… as my questions were in English and he did not speak good English…  I asked my basic question about return, was comforted about the availability and regularity of the train and headed out.

While leaving, I asked this friendly German, wearing a hat and bolo tie looking a  like a combination of Indian Jones and an Australian adventurer… of sorts… “If I was to walk around here for a little bit, what would be interesting to see?”…  “Nothing interesting here” he assured me.  He let me know that the next stop back, in the direction where I came from, was where I wanted to go.  He too was headed in that direction and offered to escort me.

Quickly the train arrived and we found our way to the next stop.  Despite the rain, and wind and darkness, the area still felt warm with life.  He pointed the direction to their large market and shopping, the largest in Germany, or… perhaps I would like to join him for a drink.  Hmmm… I thought… and then hesitantly said…” Well, I don’t really drink…”  And then, “sure… okay”.  I joined him just around the corner for a German beer and we talked a bit as he was a good communicator in English.  A little nervous sometimes around unknown men, I found my instinct and intuition assured me he was a nice guy.  After the drink we walked around the center of town lit up with Christmas lights and shopping.  It was beautiful and the coolness of the night air made it feel like Christmas to me.

Next we headed off to another little bar.  We arrived and found a spot at the end of the bar to sit.  After a few minutes of talking, someone said to me…”are you American?”  “Yes I am!”  I said.  “So am I!” she said as we laughed at the chance of meeting at a bar in Freudenstadt.  She was from Georgia. Her mother was German and they had moved to Germany together about 5 years ago.  Much immersed in the culture now with a new life and lips that easily spoke German, I could still feel the familiarity of the States in her presence.  I relaxed my more formal English and enjoyed a few moments of conversation with her.

Shortly after, we headed back to the train station.  My new friend had a 3am wake up call for work and I would return to my shelter in Hilpartsau.  It was great to spend a little time out and connect and receive the generosity and kindness of someone new in the Black Forest.  How interesting that sometimes life just flows you into someone else’s life to spend a little time.  A moment.  An hour or two.

And today, so far a quiet day in Hilpartsau.  A meal soon with Imke and the children.  A little babysitting for me this evening.  And an afternoon with what looks like… another rainy day.  But still,  so grateful for this time… with myself, being here in the Black Forest and the new connections I have made.  All in the flow.

One Response to “In the flow”

  1. Elizabeth Ohmer Pellegrin 12/16/2011 at 11:55 #

    “It was great to spend a little time out and connect and receive the generosity and kindness of someone new in the Black Forest.”

    I love this! And in the flow of life . . . I find it’s just as juicy to give as well as receive!
    So glad you’re in the flow!

    “How interesting that sometimes life just flows you into someone else’s life to spend a little time. A moment. An hour or two.”

    For me, this is the nectar of my life. It’s so sweet & so savory. So happy that you are experiencing all of these things! Your journey is unfolding beautifully!

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