Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On a day like today

I hesitate to say it, but the air feels like spring today. Just this afternoon the sun came out, the air warmed, and children filled the playground in the park beneath my window. People are coming home from work now, parking their bikes under the trees, greeting their neighbors and stalling for an extra moment or two before going inside, taking full advantage of the relief, however brief, from the winter that has dragged us down for what seems like forever. Winter is a bleak proposition here in Western Germany, day after day of gray skies and drizzle, the kind of damp cold that sinks into your bones and chills you to your core.
We live on a small park in the middle of Cologne. There is a Neo-Romanesque church in the center of the park, which is ringed by large planters, full at the moment with daffodils just hours away from blooming.
It is an oasis this place, where children play soccer before the front doors of the church and swing and climb on the sturdy wooden playground equipment. Mother congregate on the benches and swap information about kindergardens and primary schools, often slipping into one of the nearby cafes for a coffee or a Bionade. They don’t cling quite as much as we do in New York. They keep an eye on the children, but you’re much less likely to see a parent climb onto one of the slides with their child here than you might on the Bleecker Street playground in the West Village where we used to play with HH when he was a toddler.
Today might be something of an exception however. This morning a teenager walked into an elementary school in Winnenden, in Southern Germany, and killed 10 of his former classmates. I know I was a little more watchful when I picked up HH from his kindergarden. It’s a sad day here, unbelievable and frightening at the same time. On a day like today, you want to enjoy all that life has to offer and yet it is impossible to rid your thoughts of the horror that has taken place.

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1 Comments:

Blogger daringtowrite said...

I want to let you know thatI hear you and I am otherwise speechless.

4:35 AM  

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