Saturday, October 6, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Fifteen

Outings become increasingly more inconvenient as the weather turns to deep fall. When we left the house this afternoon for the annual Kürbisfest in Akazienstraße in the Berlin district of Schöneberg, it was wet and sprinkling. Lennon already had the rain cover on his stroller, I an umbrella, and my husband a raincoat. We easily could have stayed in—the weather seemed to be asking us to—but we would not be fulfilling the promise of the 40 Days of Birthday.

Regarding the past fifteen days—they really have begun to change me already. Many of the things I’ve done in the last couple of weeks are things I’ve wanted to do but always felt there was something more productive I should do instead. Not that I always did something more productive. More accurately, I believe I’ve been in a rut, churning out each day without regard for its wonder. I always supposed I’d get around to really enjoying all there was to living in Europe when things settled down, or I learned the language, or I wasn’t so tired, or when work was going better. It’s been a tumultuous two years and while it hasn’t been without it’s very happy highs, the adjustment to this new country, this new life, this new child has left me in survival mode—a perpetual regrouping, pausing time, hoping no one would notice, until I had it all sorted. If this sounds familiar, it's because I'm still learning how to love and seize Now, regardless of its imperfectness. Though the things I’ve done and the places I’ve seen over the past fifteen days may not be more than most people allow for themselves every weekend or maybe everyday, waking up and committing to participation in daily extraordinary is moving me beyond mere survival to a state of engaged curiosity, which is where I want to be and where most truly happy people live.

 That being said, the Kürbisfest, or pumpkin festival, was kind of a bust today. It was down pouring when we finally got to the train and while it let up as we arrived at the festival, everyone seemed wet and defeated. Additionally, the booths were rather common and predictable—things we see at nearly every festival in Berlin and nothing particularly pumpkin themed. As we walked deeper down Akazienstraße toward the more affluent section of Schöneberg things began to look up. There was a pumpkin farmer with an enormous, beautiful selection. We bought a creamy, butter colored pumpkin and some wonderfully gnarled gourds, wrapped for us at the register in a lovely cotton mesh bag. Nearby, a small open fire pit was set up for people to roast marshmallows. This really concluded the highlights of the fest and we headed for home, my husband still able to use the same two-hour train pass he started with.

Rained out and under-whelmed, we were still glad we went—today and everyday—and my butternut squash soup tasted like perfection for supper on this cold, wet night.

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