Wednesday, 30 July 2014


After my program in Italy ended, I headed to Germany for a few days to catch up with our distant relatives there. I stayed with my "cousin" Heinz who is a graphic designer. He is technically my second cousin once removed (e.g. my great great grandmother and his great grandmother were the same person. Or, we can try this...My grandmother and his mother were cousins). Does that make sense?

Anyway, I love our little town of Hollfeld. It's so calm and quiet. I felt grounded there (perhaps because the landscape resembles western Pennsylvania so much). There are rolling hills, green forests, slow moving rivers, and lots of birds. I could easily imagine my ancestors living there. It felt like home because of our shared history.

My cousin lives in a restored train station. He is surrounded by farms. You can hear the sheep walking around -- the bells on their necks make a dull "klonking" noise. It's sort of like listening to a wooden wind chime. At night, everything falls quiet. For a long time, I could not pinpoint what I was experiencing. After a while, I realized that it was silence. There were no crickets or cicadas. There was no wind rustling leaves and tall grasses. There was just stillness and quiet. Around midnight, the sky became the blackest of blacks. The stars twinkled and winked at me. I swear I could see thousands of stars. I felt like I could stretch out my hand and brush the Milk Way. It was so beautiful that I never wanted to go to bed.

On that Saturday, my cousin hosted a summer party. He invited all of our relatives and many of his friends from in and around Bavaria. We had the most delicious foods and German beers. He even invited a local theater troupe to come in and perform some 19th century children's plays. I'm already dreaming about returning to Hollfeld. I truly love it there.

And although I wasn't around my nephews, I was able to play with some of my cousins who are just as cute!

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