To the Sea
We’re moving again. The Bavarian chapter is coming to a close, and we’re heading back up north. We don’t know exactly when, but it will be soon after returning from Australia, and just over two years since we moved here in 2012. How was 2012 two years ago? Isn’t it still 2012? How old am I?
Wie die Zeit vergeht.
Bavaria, particularly the little pocket of it we have inhabited, has played a really important part in all of this, this being the German Adventure (for lack of a better, catchier name). To be perfectly frank, it hasn’t been somewhere we have adored living, indeed it was a transition the both of us found very difficult, culturally, socially, personally. But we drew a lot from our time here, of that I am certain. I feel that, had I not been given the chance to live here, my perceptions of this country and its people would be, naturally, narrower. I certainly wouldn’t know as much about bloody dialects and beer as I do now. As it stands, Weiden in der Oberpfalz offered an entirely different experience to the one I had in Münster, and was on the other end of the comparison scale when it came to life up in Kiel. If I had stuck to the north and the ‘mid-west’ of Germany, I wouldn’t have learnt as much as I have about the country I live in. I would likely have a different understanding of Germany as a whole (which is a very difficult picture to get a hold of, this country is so proudly regional, its people so very much connected to their patches of home).
And, of course, I have also learnt an awful lot about myself, living here. The places we set up camp in, for however long, reveal things about us, about our needs and wants. I will always remember someone telling me each place you live in, peels away a layer, shows you something different about yourself. What you can do, and indeed what you can’t. What you want from a home, what you don’t. What you need in life, in order to find your balance and purpose. As I move through this life, I’m finding the relationships with places are like the ones we have with people. Weiden hasn’t been perfect, at times it has been downright difficult, but it has been important. I will always believe that.
For me, Kiel feels like home here in Germany. I get Kiel and it gets me. It has been like that from the beginning, when I first caught a train up there to meet SG’s home town and Kiel and I connected in the freezing Baltic air. I feel right there, I feel good. I like the northerners, their openness and directness. I like the summers of beaches and strawberries stands everywhere you look. There is a freshness to Kiel, an openness – there’s that word again. I don’t feel contained, hemmed in, like I do down here. As I have learnt, I am not one for landlocked towns, for mountains and hills and lakes. I am one for the sea, and there I have it. Where I have the sea, everything is okay.