Moments of zen

It’s been quite a week with the US elections completely fraying my nerves. I wonder how Joe Biden can unite such an entrenched and divided America, where half the population live in an alternate conspiracy theory universe, making wild accusations and calling the president-elect and his wife unspeakable things, and where the other half doesn’t understand why the people take solace in that universe. Fear seems at the bottom of it all but how can the fear be taken away? How can that divide be bridged, I wonder? But I decided not to wonder too much about all that today; today was about getting some zen back into my life.

It was a beautiful day out, so Mr. Esther and I decided to go for a walk in the woods, about 40 minutes away from where we live. The kids wanted to stay home and chill, so it was just the two of us. The weather was dry and pleasant, perfect for an autumn walk in the woods, with lots of mushrooms to admire along the way.

It was lovely to take the time to really talk with each other without other distractions around. We sat on chopped logs for a while, taking in the quiet autumn atmosphere and when we walked, it was lovely to walk through the rustling autumn leaves. I wish we lived closer to those woods, it’s so good for relaxing your nerves and finding a few moments of zen.

I am “maching was”!

Within the German Richard Armitage blogging community two bloggers have initiated a “Mach’ was” (“Do something”) challenge, which has been going on for quite a while now. In this challenge a theme is presented for a limited time (for instance a month) and anyone who wishes to can contribute something, anything, to this topic. Die Pö bloggt has set the latest challenge and the other day I saw  Herba’s reminder. Now, for the first time, I am answering this call to action!

I always have to smile when I see the “Mach’ was” call because every time it reminds me of a dog my family had back in the 1980s. We had been living in Germany for a year or two when we adopted her from a shelter. They said she was a German-Shephard/Schnauzer mix but I suspect there were 10 more breeds mixed in there as well. She had been found tied to a tree and had been taken to that shelter. She was a very friendly dog and the only dog that was allowed to walk around freely, also around the shelter’s reception area. She was not particularly pretty, a bit overweight and she was already elderly. No one wanted her because of those issues and she became the shelter’s own pet dog. But then we visited and we fell head-over-heels in love with her and before we knew it, she came home with us! Her name was Dunja, I only have a few grainy pictures of her:

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We are a Dutch family, but as we grew up abroad, we spoke a lot of English at home and when we moved to Germany, the German language crept into our speech as well. As Dunja was a German dog, we all only spoke German with her. We were all kids between the ages of 9 and 20 and what greater delight than to practice our German curse words on our dog! We used to call her “Arschloch” (“Asshole”) a lot and when we said that to her, she’d come running to us, wagging her tail and we’d hug her and ruffle her hair which would stand cutely on end. For us, that word became an endearment rather than a curse word. Dunja loved going out for a walk but would take ages and ages to finally do a poo. So, almost every day, while we were walking her, we’d say to her, “Arschloch, mach’ was!” I know of several instances when people eyed me curiously when I called that out to Dunja, but I didn’t care. And if I repeated “Arschloch, mach’ was” often enough, she would finally go… So, “Mach’ was” is to me eternally linked to the very fond memory of Dunja. 🙂

So much for the meaning to me of “mach’ was”… Now on to the actual “Mach’ was” topic, which this time is “The Autumn”!

With my dizziness, my world has become quite small the past few weeks. I can’t do much or go far before getting very dizzy and needing a break. But I’m getting very fed up with that and am trying to force myself to do more. I have missed most of the autumn and its beautiful colours and today decided I just needed to do something. “Arschloch, ‘mach’ was!” I told myself! And so, I went for a walk. First to a small park right near my house, then, when that went alright, I ventured a little further. People seeing me walk today must have thought I was a little tipsy but I made it! I walked for something like 40 minutes (and that was right after I had gone to the hairdresser and done some bare essentials grocery shopping, both very close to my house). Although I was extremely dizzy and tired at the end of it, with the pressure in my ears very high now and the constant squeaking is loud as well, I did it! Yay me!

Halfway through my walk I figured, “hey, why don’t I just blog about this for the “Mach’ was” challenge?” So here I am. I didn’t have my good camera with me, so took a few pictures with the camera on my phone. This is what the autumn looks like in my neighbourhood…

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Thanks for the challenge, Pö and Herba! Don’t know when or if I will do another one, but at least I have one “Mach’ was” challenge already safely tucked under my belt now. 🙂