It has been quite a long time since the last time that I wrote. I just could not find the motivation. The endless gray skies did not provide inspiration and worry about the future clouded my perception of the present. Then there was the homesickness which never helps. I will admit I was suffering from melancholy.
But, I decided to take positive steps to rectify this issue. I bought a plane ticket to New York and surprised my family for Thanksgiving. My grandma was the only one who I told (laughably, due to her secretiveness, there were suspicions that I was pregnant. Thank goodness that was not the case!) The hugs I got from my parents were needed and it was nice to share this experience with my grandmother who I suspect needed a special occasion such as this. The trip itself was relatively uneventful, although my flight landed a bit later than anticipated and I missed my 6:45 bus. Consequently, I did not arrive at my destination until a little before 2 am. My partner in crime (grandma) picked me up and we had a nice chat and then I did my best to sleep despite the fact that my body was conditioned to German time. We drove up to my parent’s house. I even drove my grandmother’s car for a bit because she was afraid to drive up the hill. Fortunately, the hill was never a source of concern for me and we cruised to the top without as much as an undesired swerve. Walking up the driveway to my parents was a crazy feeling. We had not seen each other since the 28 of December 2013. The smile on my father’s face and the feeling of my mother’s embrace was amazing and powerful. Exactly what I needed. The expressions on the faces on the rest of my lovely family were priceless. Our turkey dinner was delightful.
So, now I am now stateside in beautiful New York and enjoying the peace and calmness that comes from going home. I have already spent a day driving with my father to my precious kitties that have been staying with an old friend. They now have the proper vaccinations needed for me to bring them to Germany (if I can get them to JFK is another question!) I went shopping with my mom and did my part to support sweat-shop labor in developing nations. (This sentiment is not really funny, or something to be proud of. But, it is what it is and that is how it went. I am at least trying not to eat any foods with high fructose corn syrup or any of the other chemical corn concoctions still legal in the US. Such a task is extremely difficult here and I have already failed twice – sadly Saranac root beer and Gertrude Hawk chocolates are made with HFCS.)
In the next weeks, we will get a Christmas tree and decorate the house (which I missed out on last year). Our family will see the Nutcracker and go out to dinner. I will go hiking with my grandfather and cook him chicken and biscuits. I will sew with my grandmother and take every chance to tell my family how much I love them. My eyes will be examined (thanks America’s Best for your 5 year plan…it has been invaluable) and I will use this break to improve my application essays and letters of motivation for applying to graduate schools on the 15 of April. There are plans to visit cousins, old friends and former colleagues. I am happy. I am thankful. I have missed this crazy place (although I have a fear of being shot while out and about…why exactly is it so violent here???). That isn’t to say that I was not (on average) happy in Germany. I have been making progress and feeling somewhat successful. I cooked twice at the community kitchen (for between 50 and 70 people!) and I went to Poland. I feel great about where the garden is (garlic and bulbs planted, front flower beds and garage cleaned, laid mulch, painted, perennials pruned, old fence removed). These positive notes please me. I am also happy in my relationship and with the wonderful people who I have come to consider my friends. I simply continue to worry about how I will take care of myself and wonder whether I will be able to establish the independence that I enjoyed so much before my move.
But, today I am focusing on the positive. I am enjoying the good fortune of being able to visit my family. I am appreciating the gift of nature:
(an ode to my parent’s backyard)
Birds birds flit and fly
Twirl twirl paint the sky
And soaring there
The song you sing
The joy of fall, winter, summer and spring
Your handsome feather
And beautiful weather
The sun is shining
Its life defining
The circle of symbiosis
A natural hypnosis
So simple yet complex
With glorious effects/
Wild chaos and instinctive order
For the beauty you bring
And tomorrow and the day after (…) I will write again. I like to write. I like to express myself. I like to reflect. This is important to remember. It seems that I simply needed a change of scenery to remind me of that.