“You are always one decision away from a totally different life..”
Though I am fully embracing my “Life in Seasons”, everyday, I still struggle about German weather. It changes every now and then and I find it really challenging especially when I am caught up with so many things to do and so little time. I still need to master the way how locals go on with their day with their mantra :
” There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing “.
As I go on with my day, I found wisdom from watching the transformation of the dawn prior to sunrise.Here’s the thing, I am not a fan of the cold. Frost finally arrived in Germany, in some parts it’s already snowing. Although I am not excited about the coming winter, I still embrace it as part of the change, but there is nothing more fascinating than to watch the dawn transforms into a colorful palette of colors in the sky. At least for me, it works.This one I truly love watching and if I have the chance, I go for it! I think watching the sky turns into a myriad of colors and hues can never be a boring sight .
This, amongst other things is special. It’s like an art story that only Artists can tell.
Everyday, as I drop my daughter to her Kindergarten, I passed by to this nearby sports field. It’s a huge field where children play football, rain or shine, showers and fog. Oh yes, if you live in Germany, the sight of people doing sports like running, Nordic walking and especially playing football is normal, no matter what the weather is. On Sundays, where it is considered as “Ruhetag”( or Quiet day) , most teens are playing sports. The place where I live is also near to another sports complex , so this is nothing new to me. I always hear the noise when people are playing so eventually, I knew exactly what is happening when there’s a tournament or a game.
The past weeks have been cloudy and wet, most of the time with constant pouring rains but the last days, we are rewarded with beautiful weather.But as it is the German weather, this things doesn’t last for long. It is fleeting. The transformation is so short, that in span of minutes, the sky is changed into something magical, into a boring, grey, clouded sight.
Before rushing to my German class, I managed to stop and snap some photos of the sky just to document this fleeting moment. Call me crazy but when I see these things, I can’t help but to admire nature, even in its simplest forms. I recalled that last year, I have witnessed a radical fire-burning Autumn skies, but this year, I noticed that they are less.
I found my inspiration while watching this dawn’s transformation for about two minutes. As I hopped into my bike and go on with my day, I realized that within this fleeting inch of the fraction of my time, I saw a transformation that can never be recalled. While everybody is in chaotic morning rush mood—- going to work, rushing to school and dropping their children to Kindergarten and running errands,I found minutes to calm me down.
It’s automatic, piloted by nature, something so raw, simple, and yet precious. In modern times where beauty can be tampered with technology, this is called unfiltered beauty.
Have you seen something like this lately?
How do you manage to start your day while in chaotic morning rush?
Hello November, but first, let me say my final Adieu to October.
I took a walk yesterday, the last day of October, and it was a fine, cold, grey day.Nothing special about it, except that we have a long weekend here in Bavaria, so overall, we are just chilling out. All of us in the family are feeling sick, but still, we are fine. It’s Halloween time in almost half of the world, but I noticed that Germans are not so fond of this. Kinder Halloween parties are held in a music club bar where children clad in their costumes danced in the funky lights, grooving to the disco lights, and loud music. I must admit, a threat for eager parents like me as well. My Little one, dressed as a funky skeleton, with a complete face painting done by yours truly was cheerfully emancipated as she partied with other kids. Trick or treating is another melancholic dream, well at least here in Bavaria, it’s a ghost, not as fancy as I have seen in Philippines. I was surprised that although they love pumpkins, it is best with pumpkin soup ( which I actually made for dinner last night !) and pies , the groovy jack-o-lanterns cheers up the lonely balconies outside , which is a picture of deafening silence.
I think its detrimental to even ring the bell of a house where all the roller shutters ( or Rolladen in Deutsch) are firmly shut!
Snapping some photos from my camera, and briskly walking on the carpet of fallen leaves, here’s what I’ve written to my thought journal ;
October, the only time where I see spider webs as something fascinating. Probably the best time to see spiders webs looking great, beaded with the moisture of the morning dew or mist. Take note, no two spiders webs look exactly the same. I didn’t know about this before, but then, it’s good to know, right?
Walking into the woods surrounded with colorful palette of autumn leaves may look dreamy and looks magical to others, it really looks beautiful , I cannot deny it. But after a while, this postcard of natural beauty becomes a fleeting moment. At the back of your mind, you know that the dreary cold winter still need to surpass, and I need to endure the cold. I am not so fond of winter that is why I’m saying this. After the ravaging winds we have from three days ago, which ripped off all the surviving leaves from its branches, now everything else is bare and grey. At least for enthusiastic Germans who runs everyday, the colorful foliage provides a great scenery, sort of.
But then, every leaf fallen to the ground and muddled up in the wet puddle only knows its own misery——-and melancholy.
The truth is , I could expect no more from this sight. It is enough. For me, everyday it gets even more ordinary. Maybe only by a pure accident of organic chemistry, leaves are reborn, as they start to die, in an astonishing range of colours that puts their spring birth to shame. We all know the look of decay. This is the winding-down of everything, slowly towards death. Yet , for those who took time to have deeper insights about autumn, you know that the beginning of the end doesn’t feel like decay, at least on the surface, it doesn’t feel like a crumbling and a decomposing and a collapse from within; it feels like the arrival of a world of new feelings. At first, the sound of dried fallen leaves against a kick, that crisp sound it makes that creates a jolt of excitement is almost the same melancholic exercise from my muscles as I rake down the dried , stubborn , fallen leaves in the lawn for hours.
That’s the other side of melancholy. How do you appreciate the beauty of a mess?
If we look closely, in the autumn foliage we can see our own mortality: a beauty with a sadness never far away. It’s the time where sadness creeps slowly, camouflaged in quiet, calmed emotions, basked in agony of anticipating the end of the cold months. Soon, the season to rest and reflect will pass. Like a long passage to cross. But there’s nothing beat the picturesque beauty of blooming colors of spring whilst in Autumn, the beauty comes from an inner understanding of the cycle of life.
Where everything looks hazy, the mystery beyond the mist is yet to be uncovered.
And then again, there is the mist, arriving uninviting. To me, autumn mist is something you smell before you see it; it’s the initial hint of the blow of the air as I leave the house in the morning, the first gush of wind which kissed my cheeks as I hop on my bike, slowly creeping into my nostrils, and the realization from my inner tissues tells me that summer is finally over and the world is turning.
Every morning, I notice that the sunshine is hazy. I’ve moved all my plants to the biggest window in the house where they can received as much sun that they need to thrive on the coming winter months. It’s a joy to see them gathered together, as if they need each other to survive the gloom. I’ve picked my last stem of roses from this year, pruning of stems will follow later. I’ve sensed it as early as the last week of August, the end of BBQ season and lounging in Biergartens has come to an end, the gloomy sight of empty playgrounds, and steaming rivers becomes a panoramic dream right now.
This is my thoughts from my One hour of melancholy— Auf Wiedersehen October!
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read , my friends. If you enjoy this post, please feel free to leave your thoughts, I would love to read them as well.
So tell me, are your moods also affected by the weather?
Do you also experience this so-called “melancholic” thoughts when winter is coming?
Cheers to November and wishing you all a lovely week ahead!
I owe this post to the raw, pure and simple beauty of Autumn, the season of layers and golden glow. The season where I created my Art gallery series “The rhythm of Crimson“and the “Hues of Malachite“. As much as I love nature, I think its just proper to document these moments and share with you some snapshots around my neighborhood . It’s been in my drafts folder for a week now and it really deserves to be published.Today, I finally squeezed some time to sit behind my laptop and search through my photo archives to complete this post. I know its been a while since I write about my Wandertags , but yes, I must confess that time is super precious, and life really happens when you are in constant motion. No day-off,in lay man terms!
But when we are silent, it doesn’t mean that our lives are boring, it’s just means that adventures are happening.
I’m sure many expats like me can relate to this.Though I grew up in a tropical climate and live almost a decade in a dry, hot climate, I began to appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons here in Europe. Someone even told me that it must be heaven or paradise living in Germany. I humbly retorted — there is no such thing as paradise. Your happiness doesn’t depend on places, let alone tangible things. Though I love summer and I get cold easily, I am such an Autumn person. Give me a quiet, serene place with a simple view of gorgeous colorful trees and leaves on a bright, chilly autumn day, with warm socks, big sweaters, and a pocket of time to paint, then I will be in all my glory. My soul would be happy.
As me and my family entered into new routines and big changes, we are colliding with changes in nature as well. October is the time comes to dressed up in layers once again.Everyday, my feet stepped into a myriad of colors, the streets are covered in yellow-brown mosaic of leaves, it is really beautiful! As I go out in my day, in a rush but kissing and chasing the fog relentlessly. I am fully embracing my life in layers. With the beginning of late sunrises, and dark nights, I find comfort knowing that my life continues to eveolve.I won’t lie, it is a struggle to wake up 5:30 in the morning every single day. It is still dark when we go out, with crisp air, cloudy, wet and very foggy. It’s like the sun is also too sluggish to put on a show. I am most ecstatic when the sun starts to shine, because I know, it gets better during the day when its sunny.
Anyway, here I wanna share with you my side of the world , these photos reflect the life we have as an Expat family here in Bavaria, the south of Germany.This is what my everyday life looks like. As much as we love the European summers, I love the serene, quiet evenings, chilly mornings, and a soulful meditation that the Autumn weather brings.
Autumn (or der Herbst) means walking back to nature. Taking walks plays an important role in German lifestyle. Here, I’ve seen the other side of walking. Back then in Kuwait, I see walking as a penitence. With the dry and heat, walking is never enjoyable.Whilst here, it’s a physical activity, exercising your self-wellness . During Fall, walking is even more special on a carpet of crisp fallen leaves. Nothing beats the “Psithurism“or the sound of the rustling of leaves, the graceful descending movement of leaves falling to the ground, obedient to the course of gravity. The sound it makes is raw, making each step exciting. The different shades of leaves creates a unique mosaic, which only nature can do. I have tried to replicate the textures when I made some “Painting with Leaves”. I find the sight of the fallen leaves on the ground a pleasant reminder that even though everything is dying and falling during Fall, life can still be beautiful.
“All the trees are losing their leaves, and not one of them is worried “
Do you like foggy, hazy mornings?
Have you ever tried chasing a Fog? Another thing that makes Autumn in Germany special are the chilly, foggy mornings which starts from late September and can last up until November. The fog here stays up until 11 am!Have you ever tried cycling in the fog? Or just take a walk through the foggy forest on an early Saturday morning?
When I see fog, I feel like I am into a quest. I remember last year when I was so engulfed with these foggy mornings and crystallized spider webs, making me spent most my weekend mornings chasing the fog. There’s something about it that is so eerie, so mystical, and mysterious . The cast that it makes on the trees and surroundings is a sight that is imprinted in my mind. I love photographing these moments. In this photo,the Donau river almost disappeared, it’s unseen because of the thick fog, but you know it’s there.
Of course if I talked about Fall in Germany, Oktoberfest and every city’s Volksfest will surely cross your mind. All these festival are almost legendary. Just right before the chill creeps into our window sill, we enjoyed once again the warmth inside the beer tents, with a Breze (Pretzel) in the hand and danced through the groove of traditional volk music. Our Herbstfest ( Fall Beer Festival) is one of my favorite festivities,the carnival, and the total coziness of celebration is really one of -a-kind, especially in our region, the beer capital of the world—Bavaria!
What I like about taking time to observe nature during the morning rush is that you can capture it in its raw form. When I passed by to this street everyday, it is full of students, in a hurry, everyone is chasing the time. These trees itself are witness of time, enduring the cold, and obediently abiding to the call of nature to shed all its leaves in order to give way to another growth. Through all these process, she cast no worries.
Since the time that my daughter started in the Kindergarten, Fall brought us a new meaning as well. It signals growth and moving forward. The time for Big Little steps to be made, and taking the leap on second chances. I, too, had been moving forward in my life. It was not an easy, or comfortable one, but then this is where I find meaning of my daily purpose.
Just like this flower in between the fallen leaves, it still stands out and bloom. Autumn is her season to shine. A purple one against the browns. Sometimes, life’s challenges comes like a contrast and its the way we respond that resonates with our surroundings. Lately, my family is plagued by the challenges that my daughter faced in her “Eingewohnung” in the Kita ( Kindergarten). This is the phase where she faced with so many new things and her skills are challenged, she, herself is being challenged physically, emotionally, and most important —socially. As parents, we feel the stress as well, but then we decided to hold on to each other and stand out.
The orange , red and yellow leaves in constant transformation gives me glorious sight everyday, invoking positive vibes and encouraging resistance. The cold, long German Winter will come soon, but we are staying still.
If you might wanna know, there are so many things that comes up only in Autumn, a seasonal thing I must say. Like for example these clouds of mushrooms, they are everywhere, almost invincible! Our streets are also full of chestnuts, acorns, pine cones, and beautiful twigs. We have adorned our home with the pumpkins we’ve got from the fresh market and yes, my plant sanctuary gets even more cozier with the addition of colorful callunas!Germans are crazy about their gardens, and indoor plant sanctuaries are as common as Biergartens!
German Autumn won’t be complete without the warm orange shades of Pumpkins. The warm colors of Fall —the burnt orange, reddish, plum, and burnt sienna are my favorite shades .A parade of pumpkins or Kurbis is every child’s delight. Pumpkin pie, Lebkucken, Stollen, Apple picking and cozy sweaters are always a hit everywhere. The smell of freshly baked goodies, gorgeous warm glow of candle lights while tucked into warm socks–all these are simple comforts for the soul during Fall.
One thing that I have learned lately in my life is to be content, with what I am and with what I have. Autumn in the same way is the season where I appreciate the contentment in my own home by paying attention to what I already have. A time when the year is on its last leg and it doesn’t do you good have regrets. Lastly, we don’t have Fall season in the Philippines and so I am grateful that I have this “privilege” to live in this place.
“The Trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go…”
Have you enjoyed this post? If you live in a place with a season like Fall, what do you appreciate the most during this time? and if you have one photo that describes your life right now, what could it be?
Would it also be fallen leaves?
Feel free to share your thoughts about your favorite moments during the changing seasons.
Thank you for reading my friends! If you have more time to kill and you want to see more of my personal Art Gallery like my current obsession now, the art of Fluid Painting using acrylics, please add me in Instagram. I share and post there my current artworks and I think its worth the follow.
Have you notice that it’s almost half of November? October spells went quickly…
Time really flies. Forty days more to go and its Christmas, and 47 days more and the year ends. November days crawls like a sluggard, like the leaves enduring the harsh winds and struggling to cling on the branches. The trees soon will be bald, since leaves continuously falling to the ground. Times like these allows me to treasure the short days of Autumn knowing that winter soon will knock on our doorsteps. But..at the corner of my heart, I have this feeling that November days are so lazy, its like I’m always trying to pull the days soon,getting over with the upcoming festivities and start the new year, clean & fresh.
Meanwhile,I wondered how the moon looked tonight since it’s the time of Perigee Moon, they say its the Supermoon, its gonna be on its brightest and biggest. I have high hopes since the sky is not clear over here.
Since I live in Germany, and this is an Expat blog, around this time of the year, do you have any idea what Germans or Bavarians do on lazy fall Sunday mornings?
I have observe quietly how Germans roll the sweet November days. They are out cycling as usual, with half of their face wrapped with thick scarves.They run,brisk walk, while listening music from their phones. They walk their dogs or run with them. Their dogs are dressed up in its winter outfit. The cute little coat that they wear. Cozy and snug as a bug they trot into the woods. I love how German mothers dressed up their babies in a snug baby sack and merino wool and let them nap in their buggies. They open their windows while the heating is on, and yes, they clean their garden yards from the fallen leaves.
You see, my neighborhood is a picture of a decent, quiet, sometimes boring, and typical Bavarian village where people don’t say Hi but only mumbled lazily , Grüß gott!
Aside from drinking Hot chocolate milk with marshmallows, and doing some serious Fall baking, I’d like to spend my Sunday ( Ruhetag) mornings by taking nostalgic walks in the woods or if it’s not raining, cycling in the dike and enjoying the landscape.This has become my new Sunday routine.My wandertag!With all the shops being closed on Sundays, a trip to nature is the best way to relax. Enjoying the leaves has become my serious favorite.
From last week, its been grey skies, gloomy and raining here. But today, finally we have a bit of sun so we head into the woods right after breakfast.From walking through the crisp dried leaves,admiring the Autumn colors along the banks of the river, and on the look out for mushrooms in the wild woods,my heart is glad. Although spring flowers are a wonderful sight against the bright sunny weather, autumn flowers which are drenched in dew are also enchanting to see.Times like this in Germany is nothing special, but for me, its different.
I spotted these dainty bunch of white fluffy moth- like flowers growing like a vine around the fence. It reminded me of cotton balls. So fragile, and soft. I don’t know its name but I don’t mind, they are just beautiful to see.
I didn’t know that moving to Germany would introduce me to another sweet culture called ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’. It’s basically coffee and cake time. It’s a Gezelligheid enjoyed between family members, friends, and loved-ones. Normally on lazy Sunday afternoon but I noticed that Germans tends to have this any time of the day, mostly before their evening meal. I see them enjoying a warm cup of coffee with a slice of cake, looking so cozy. Bakeries here always have some selection of day cakes, sliced in decent portions, the most common is their Black forest cake, custard and with fresh fruits on top.I don’t feel guilty about indulging into some sweets since I am a confessed chocoholic as well. The difference from Kuwait is that there are lots of Burger restaurants & fast food there that it seems quite impossible to avoid the unhealthy side of comfort foods especially if you walk into Avenues where there are unlimited choices. Aside from sweet pastries and heavy cakes, Kuwaitis favored a different version of indulgence.
Here in Bavaria, a simple coffee/tea and cake is enough pampering your sweet tooth!
I managed to make my very firsttraditional Dutch Apple pie from scratch. My husband devoured it like a glutton and I am happy that despite having a hard time getting the ingredients from the local shelves of supermarkets here, I managed to bake a decent pie. One note, there’s no self-raising flour or a good vanilla essence here. All is see is the Vanillin sucker or the aroma that doesn’t really “do”as the real vanilla.
For the last 2 weeks of November, there are still few highlights to look forward. I’m excited for my daughter to have her first taste of St.Nicholas Day on the 5th of December, visit the local Christmas Market which wil start next week and start making cards for Christmas. Germans already started to hoard Adventkalendars,almost all shops have their own selection on this. I would be glad to squeeze some time for this as well as making DIY wreaths. After all, it will be our first Christmas here in Germany so I’m looking into new things.
How are you getting by through this sweet November?
Let me show you what’s in my current Nature Vistas and their Metamorphosis .
Recently I had been watching a different kind of ‘Now Showing ‘. I discovered a new kind of cinema where all you need are your open senses and to be in a state of mindfulness. There’s never a VIP premiere since all shows are visible worldwide,accessible to anyone who are interested.The only difference is that they may vary depending on which region you are. While the rest of the world is too busy looking after the complicated version of beauty, I opt for the off beaten path.
There’s something about the magical beauty of spider webs during Fall. It’s one of the best natural artwork that you can see. The pattern, the intricate design, truly, a spider’s silk is amazing.Don’t miss a chance to see a cobweb in glistening dew during cold early mornings. Fall is their season, normally they are regarded as dirt, a nuisance, but during Autumn, it’s their time to shine. They are regarded as beautiful, and worthy.
I saw the one shown in above photo last Sunday, its hanging above the railing of the suspension bridge along the Danube river. I was cycling so I need to stop for a minute to get a proper photo before its gone.Sure thing, it is worth the stop.
Moving in Germany have introduced me to a new attitude of awareness. I thought that my life had slowed down, downsized, & somewhat minimized, I was wrong– I was rather escalated. Wander tags have taught me a lot about simple things in life that has huge impact. I realized that I was not aware of these when I’m always in a hurry and the only colors that is ever-present in my mind is the RAL ( German Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung) since its part of my work. I was even good at creating different colors out of the basics. But nature has taught me something; True Colors.
Do you know that leaves has 3 (Three) pigments? It has chlorophyll (green) , carotenoid (yellow,orange,and brown), and the anthocyanin (red) . In one season, the leaves shows a grand display of all of these like a slide show.
Because the days are shorter & there’s not enough sun,the leaves can’t produce more chlorophyll ( or their food). Rather than struggle to make food through the winter, it shuts down. It stops producing chlorophyll and allows its fall leaves to die. When the tree stops producing chlorophyll, the green color leaves the foliage and you are left with the “true color” of the leaves. Does it ring a bell “You are your truest when you are alone in the dark and no one is watching “.
We are running on the last quarter of the year, only a few more months and the year ends. Time to chase old dreams, rekindle dimmed sights. Do you have anything worth pursuing before this year becomes a history? I have mine and I’m still bent on chasing after it. Chasing fallen leaves doesn’t always mean gathering a mess, life-less, unworthy piles of leaves. It’s also an act of being in control and staying tuned with your desires and getting ready for the next season.
If I didn’t put a purpose in all my wanderings then I wouldn’t be able to write about these things. As I watched my daughter wander in the forest, I can see that she learns more about the leaves, trees, its color, and the sound of nature more than she sees in her books. She becomes aware of the sound of birds, and the colors of wild flowers. Suddenly I love the concept of learning through play–it’s a magical world for kids. I thought everything around me changes and undergoing metamorphosis, little did I know that I, myself, is the big change.
What was the last movie you’ve watched?
What’s “Now Showing” in your life ? or maybe “Coming Soon”?