Everything Remains Different

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Here we are, in the middle of the year 2020 and nothing is as it once was. Not much is left of the “old” and only slowly the new is beginning to show itself, beneath all the chaos and madness that seems to be spreading in the world right now.

In truth, I believe that nothing has been normal for a long time, only that it is now becoming visible to everyone and can no longer be denied.

With the falling away of the old and all the chaos around us, unfortunately for many of us, some of the ways to ground ourselves – or rather the distractions are also falling away, and some of the tried and tested grounding methods are temporarily unavailable.

For me this is, for example, my walks, the visits to my old stomping grounds a little further west in the city and thus also the visits to my beloved farmer’s shop and the great people who work there.

During the lockdown period Kim and I were very careful because my immune system has suffered a lot from the stress of the past years. Even now, we are still taking special care and are avoiding, for example, public transportation and, of course, large crowds.

Although I feel that, at the moment, it is safe enough for me to take a walk in the nearby park, the next problem arises: I cannot tolerate the sun. I am not talking about that I just easily get sunburned. Instead, I get rashes, itching, fever and other symptoms. In the worst case, this may take a few days to cease.

Usually I arrange Spring as a phase of habituation, in which I gradually expose myself to the sun for longer and longer periods of time – very carefully, of course. Up to a certain point this works quite well, even if it has been difficult in the last two years. I also do a few other things – for example I take sea buckthorn fruit oil to support my vitamin E balance. That helps me a lot.

This year, unfortunately, the habituation phase was omitted. Albeit I spent time on the balcony, as well, this does not have the same effect as, for example, walking through the park – especially as the sun only comes around here from the afternoon on. Therefore I can now tolerate the sunlight even less than usual. Together with the currently often highly increased UV-index this leads to me getting strong reactions after only one hour of staying in the complete shade. So I prefer to stay indoors now, as well.

And in Autumn? Well, who knows what will happen, then. If there’s no second wave… but we will see about that.

So, for now, no walks, no foraging for wild herbs and fruits (unfortunately Kim is not quite as knowledgeable about this and I can only send him off on his own to a limited extent) and no shopping at our beloved farmer’s shop, where we get particularly good quality at particularly good prices at harvest time. This also means less preparation for Autumn and Winter (which possibly means that on certain occasions we may buy more frozen products than usual).

And also, no photos from our walks.

But there are also benefits.

For example, I have found that it makes a bigger difference than I thought, to eat a fully organic diet. Albeit our farmer’s shop also offers some organic products, not everything there is organically grown. Great quality, despite everything, but just not organic. In the last two years we thought that this does not matter as long as the quality of the food is good, otherwise.

It matters. Since we could not go to our farmer’s shop in the last months, we went shopping at the nearby organic supermarket. We can walk there. And lo and behold, my psoriasis has actually decreased overall. Meanwhile I can clearly attribute this to the lower pollution of the food I have been eating.

True, we do not get quite as good prices at the organic supermarket as we do at the farmer’s shop, but the more we buy there, the higher the discount we get. Moreover, we save the tickets for the bus. This actually evens out. And we still get regional products, because many organic supermarkets now also work with regional farmers.

In addition, one becomes more minimalistic, bethinks of what is really important in life and this actually brings with it a certain independence. It also provides grounding and an arrival in the Here and Now. Even though I miss the Feldmark very much and look forward to seeing it again.

From Spring until recently I discovered my balcony completely anew. So, instead of from the walks there will be photos from the balcony, for now.

Here I also meet various bees, butterflies, wasps, flies, dragonflies, spiders, diverse bird species and sometimes the neighbour’s cat greets me from the opposite window. The plum-tree in front of the balcony is home to many different bird families, this year. Mainly robins, tits and even sparrows, which have become rare, here in Hamburg.

In Spring a small colony of starlings stopped-over, here, and gave the most amazing concerts and recently I observed a territorial dispute between a pair of buzzards, some crows and a seagull, right from the balcony.

Even though this year there may not be as much to pickle, freeze and preserve as usual, a busy season is now beginning. Thus, we made mustard gherkins from watermelon rind at the end of June – of course, this is only possible with organic melons – and prepared three kinds of vinegar from fruit leftovers. We also cooked our first plum-butter of the season.

However, I will probably miss the great greengages from our farmer’s shop. They are organically grown by the owner of the shop himself, as are the zwetschgen (a kind of plums similar to damsons), some rare and delicious varieties of apples, pears and quinces.

He also grows strawberries, but not in organic quality and this year I clearly noticed a difference that I cannot ignore, just like with the potatoes.

Also, I have rediscovered music for myself. I actually listen to whole albums again just for fun. And on Twitter, we started singing something every night at 7:30 pm with a small group during the lockdown – each for ourselves, but the songs (for example sheet music or music videos) we shared as inspiration. Now we still sing twice a week and share various impulses for the rest of the week. I find that very enriching and inspiring. I would not have met these people otherwise, by the way, because they live in other cities.

In addition, I am writing more again, as can also be seen on my blog.

Many people tell you that if you don’t go out or do this or that or that, then you would not participate in life or not get inspiration. I cannot quite agree with that. Of course it is great when you can go anywhere you want at any time. But sometimes this is just not possible. In fact, there have always been people for whom it was not possible. They take part in life, nevertheless, because life is taking place. As long as we are alive, we cannot not participate in life. We are life, we are expressing it, shaping and defining it.

Instead of looking at how we think something should be and putting ourselves down for it when our life does not look like that or produces a different result, it might be a good idea to look at what actually really is. Without judgment. Just being there, with everything that is or is not there, right now. And then, when we are so completely there, so completely present, then we could take a look at how that actually feels, now. Often, it feels much better than we could have imagined. And if not, we can still have a look at what we can change. In any case, our own perspective will change. Instead of condemning and shaming ourselves, we start to accept ourselves and realize what potential is hidden therein.

Well, that sounds like an interesting exploratory journey, doesn’t it?

Are you ready to shine a bright light of awareness on the path of beingness, today?

Much Love,
Steffi

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