Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

waldfriedhof

This morning I headed out confidently into the streets, after feeding Pelletti his snack of 13 bags of wood pellets, and proceeded to fall flat on my butt.  It's a black ice day in Deutschland, or should I say, a Calgary-kind-of-day.  Of course, I was also carrying a bag of celebratory sekt and wine bottles from the past holiday weeks, to the recycling container.   After picking up myself and the armful of bottles and pieces of glass, swearing under my breath and possibly even out loud, I had to laugh as I saw 2 other people also wipe out in the same parking lot.  This freezing rain and ice business is very different from the land of snow, snow, snow which I'm used to.

Recycling finished, I headed through the streets and up the berg (literal translation: mountain - realistic translation: hill) to the waldfriedhof (forest cemetary).  There are many waldfriedhofs in Germany and the ones which I have visited are beautiful, peaceful places to visit (for a short or very, very long time).  This one is mostly in the forest, with a view of the Rhein and with large, looming pine trees watching over the gravestones and wooden crosses. 

I wanted to visit great guy's mom, and maybe borrow her grave to think about my mom too for a bit.  Back home, I did that fairly regularly; borrowing other mother's graves (who I knew) to sit and think and feel nearer to my own.  I never thought that those women would mind and I doubt great guy's mother would either.  As I lit the 2 candles, which I bought from the handy automatic gravelight machine (comes complete with matches), I thought about these 2 women who might have had more similarities than just being beautiful.

I had only met great guy's mom a couple of times, many years ago, but our mothers knew each other a bit and I like that a lot.  A couple of weeks ago, when great guy and I went to borrow some Christmas decorations from his father's place he wanted to show me some photos.  One album,when I opened it, had on the first page, a photo of my mom and his parents together.  It was so surprising...and surprisingly comforting; that our mothers spent some time in each others company.

I placed the candle for great guy's (and sister's) mom in the enclosed, bronze candleholder and immediately smoke began to stream out of the top; softly, peacefully, steadily.  I placed my mom's candle in the snow, beside the candleholder, and immediately, because of the rain, the flame went out.  Frustrated, I said, "Come on, Mom, stay lit for me!"  I lit the candle again...and it did not go out.  It was pouring rain, and the flame hissed and flickered and danced, but it did not go out.  Honestly, it reminded me of her; strong-willed, sometimes hissing, sometimes dancing, bright, stubborn, and yet very fragile, I think.  So, I stood there, wanting to wait until it went out again.  But it didn't.  Finally after 20 minutes, totally drenched, and having closed my tear-filled eyes for a few moments, I decided to leave.  Both flames burning bright.  Oh, how I wish for the chance to hang out with these 2 mothers right now.  How neat would that be?

I walked down the hill, and over to fit 'n fun, and ran 3 km while watching Beyonce videos on the big screen (predictably motivating).  And, with every step I tried to remember how fit and fun it was when I could run 10 (Remember that, Bob?  Seems like a 100 years ago, instead of just 2!).  Oh well, I'm on my way.

Some good things today.
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