Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Taking note

The changes come less frequently now, settled, more or less, as we are in this place.

The urge to take note of differences between what I had known and what I am seeing for the first time, the observations that sparked me to take to the page a year or two ago or more are less urgent. It is a still remarkable however, and rarely a day goes by when I don’t pause my thoughts to take it in, the little things, the pace of life I have not yet begun to take for granted and may never, given as I am to expecting change.

Yesterday, as I hurried through the morning catching up on errands, there was a short stretch of such recognition. A barrier separates the small paved path in front of our building, a path that runs the length of the park outside our windows. This barrier forces you to alter your course, weave through it, slow down, turn and straighten again before continuing on. And I thought to myself, ‘here I am navigating my wobbly Dutch bike through this ancient German city on a cool summer morning.’ I never would have imagined it as a young man growing up in America.

Not that it’s such a foreign place; Europe isn’t so different from other places I have known. It isn’t China or Borneo or Tierra del Fuego but it is just different enough to strike me now and then with wonder and appreciation.

HH is growing, fast and in every imaginable way. Two shoe sizes since his last pair of trainers, language, emotions and understanding just about keeping pace with his physical changes. He realizes he is a person with roots in two countries, two continents, and two traditions. Soccer and baseball compete with each other for his imagination. He wants to invite Derek Jeter and Bastian Schweinsteiger and to his birthday party. I had told him he could invite anyone he wished but I was a bit surprised when these two names appeared on the list. I tried to break it to him gently that these fellows had pretty demanding schedules and weren’t likely to show up. I think he knew that going in.

Summer is upon us and soon we will be back in the USA for a spell. As much as I love this place, I am looking forward to the sounds and smells (the grill will be the first thing out of the storage shed) of home. Home – but that’s the subject for another day. HH is stirring.