As I slowly emerged out of my sub conscious state of sound sleep this morning, I recognized the sounds of children laughing across the courtyard. And then, as I awoke more and more, I heard more layers of activity. I recognised the sounds of neighbors speaking to one another, and then in another flat, music being played and from across the hallway (ABBA). In yet another flat, a television set was fighting for attention amongst the noise, and just then as I opened my eyes I recognised the sounds of a couple who were seemingly expressing their affection towards one another in a very very passionate manner. As my eyes finally opened, there was a huge smile on my face. This is the epitome of a summer morning in Berlin.
I sat there in bed thinking about the previous months of winter where I usually hear not a word…from anyone, no peep nor sound…no apparent life outside of the walls of my own flat. It can get awfully lonely at times, and I often, then during those long elongates months of solitude, long to hear the laugh of a child-the talk of other people out there. But, no! windows are sealed shut closing in all activity of life. I hardly, if ever run into my neighbors on the hallways, and on the rare occasion that I do run into someone, we are literally doing just that…running. Running in or out to our destinations and finding no time for exchange…hardly an exchange of a smile or words…nothing. We all seem to wear the burdens of problems on our faces, we allow them to weigh us down, like the layers upon layers of clothes that we wear to keep us warm. when I first moved to Berlin I found it utterly unfathomable how “cold” and “unfriendly” these people seemed. However, in no time at all, I had become one of “them”. It is almost frightening how adaptable we beings are.
And in no time, I also came to realise that these “people” are not cold and unfriendly, but rather it is their way of coping. It is as if they are in a cocoon…hibernating the winter months, such that they can really live out their summer. And indeed they do…they do!!!!
Because things are radically different now. Within the past three weeks, I have met many if not all of the people who co-inhabit this house with me. The sun and accompanying heat, brings with it a special vibe, a positive pulse of life, a flow of energy that makes us all smile. All of our windows are wide open in the courtyard, which serves not only to allow some breeze in to cool down the flats, but invites us all to share in the flow of positive energy. The resounding sounds in the courtyard amplifies the pulse of life and well….
I JUST LOVE IT!!!
It is not uncommon here to find the occasional person walking around the street completely naked, or without shoes on. It is simply the expression of the freedom and lightness they feel. And what I love most is that nobody seems to care. One can do whatever one wants, dress the way one wants, and it is O.K. Everything and anything goes (for the most part, that is)!
Strangers from the streets ride by on their bicycles and greet me with a gesture of taking their hat off and on, people simply smiling for no apparent reason. Somehow, I feel as if our troubles seem less heavy, less burdensome. At least we no longer wear them on our faces and allow ourselves to be emotionally weighed down by them. We all seem to taken in lifted to lightness by the rays of the sun and I intend to bask my body and soul in this as long as it lasts.
When I finally got out of my bed and stopped enjoying the concert being performed in the courtyard, I decided to visit the Hackecher market to purchase some wonderfully juicy summer fruits and some veggies to make a weekend salat. It was light, fresh, colourful, radiant and simply delicious!
Here are some impressions of my day at the market-from the various organic fruit stands with amazingly bright and flower-shaped zucchini:
…to the orange and pomegranate juice stand, where I love take a break to get my vitamin C fill:
and then I walked over to the bread stands, where you can find a plethora of breads from croissants, to tiroler dried bread, to soft and fluffy milk bread, rye bread, and, and, and….
By the time I had reached the bread stands, I was hungry again..well, not really hungry per se…but I wanted desperately to bite into each of the red beets, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce and apricots I got. But, at the same time I wanted to complete the market-round to visit the prepared food stalls and more….Well, that would have to wait for a while, because my desire to eat won by a large margin!.
So, I headed home to prepare a salat with the apricots and veggies I had purchased, sprinkled some sunflower seeds on top and dressed it with an apricot vinaigrette (that was before I headed back to the market!).
I thought that the vinaigrette would a good way to start using the apricots! Here is the recipe for the apricot vinaigrette dressing, which I poured upon the salad: