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I find myself halfway across the Atlantic. Below me white clouds pass and mask the cold icy peaks of Greenland. I and others have made this journey between continents over the last 20 odd years in the name of love. Now I return home.
Last Friday evening my Oma passed – the wind of my Oma passed from her body to rejoin the great winds. And with this final passing my three familial connections to Germany come to an end – first Opa, then Tante Ema, now Oma – and so change begins.
I am blessed to have been able to return to visit again and to spend the last days with Oma. On monday last, a worsening of her condition – weight loss, not eating, and heavy rapid breathing – led my mom and I to quickly set aside our daily lives in Boulder to visit and support her in the three river stadt of Passau Germany. Shaken, we joined by her bedside to hold her hand – four days of beauteous thought and memory.
We recall the joy and love of greetings. Hugs Kisses Smiles – strahlend. We recall fall leaves in parks, streets, and playgrounds. We hear a joking voice and a smiling laugh. We remember busy hands and watchful eyes. We remember, smell and taste, heart-filling food and baked tasties: bowl after bowl of Griesknodelsuppe, Slices of Nudel bread with butter, and hand picked and cooked redcurrant jam, we picture beautiful fresh cakes and feel the crumbling Nusskuchen. We see rich green grass and sunlight playing through German clouds. We remember cool reds of a sun setting to dinners on the balcony, while trains pull into the main station below. And we recall parting – endless waving of a white kerchief after a strong hug and gaze of love.
Thank you Oma, for years of love and joy while bringing
– creating and forming –
my mother and myself in this world
of water – earth – fire – air
__ you made the world a playground __
Visiting Buckingham palace – the changing of the guards – masses gather before the iron gates and press with shutters held high and clicking. This is a recollection from my 5 week Europe trip of 2009.