“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time” Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
sometimes I have to remind myself that I have been a gardener.
Created and maintained a big garden in Hildesheim for 19 years, and a small one in Hamburg for two years.
So I am used to rhythm, used to the abundance of summer and the scarcity of winter.
But in a big city it is easy to forget to listen to the fainter sounds, or to rest your eyes by looking at a grey sky with its hundreds of nuances (or only one). Not easy to stop running around and just sit down - trying, at least for a short time, to do nothing.
Berlin emits the Winter-Blah. Cloaked itself into a grey shroud, sacrificed its last jewels, a chain of has-been Christmas trees, that filled the streets and alleys like a far stretched green band of wounded nature, to the busy binmen.
It is cold outside, but it is not "the real winter" with its vibrant blue sky that makes you giggle and fills your lungs with fresh air and then, coming back from a walk through the countryside with glowing cheeks and frozen fingers you tuck in a warm apple pie where the apples melt in your mouth, the velvety fragrance of cinnamon wafts into your nose, and you start to sip from a hot mug of tea - and I feed you tea and oranges, that came all the way from China - and then you sit content in a huge armchair and read your dear Pushkin or just dream a bit before a crackling fire in a fireplace (that I don't have).
No - lets face it bravely: the party is over.
Good!- time for a rest. Time to set one's things in order. Make plans. Order the tiny bags of seeds for the coming year: this ones will - hopefully - bloom into a slender campanile in Italy, these will disseminate in abundance like a chain of Brandenburger villages, with endless fields of yellow rapeseed, and if you are lucky some tiny plants of friendship and love will grow up into solid trees, but that, dear heart, will take some time...
As everything has its time, we know that. We just have to hold ourselves back not to scratch away the earth that protects what is growing in secrecy underneath - just trust, it is there, growing stronger every day.
In the meantime: slow down a bit. Accept a - seemingly - plateau.
And look: though the black silhouette of the tree in front of the balcony still hums a monotone winter song, the sky wears a dashy pale pink today.
And that has its beauty too.