Settling back into life here has meant readjusting to so many things. Some of those things have been hard, like being dependent on a car and the un-walkability of the city. Other things are easy and so, so welcome like the friendliness of strangers—I like living in a culture like this, where people are not afraid to smile at/talk to/joke with people they don’t know. It adds a little bit of joy and humanity to everyday life that I have dearly missed.
What is strange about the readjustment is that it is playing out in my (now our) duplex. We now live in the same apartment I was living in when I left for Berlin all that time ago. It is a lovely space with lots of light and a fireplace—the perfect place to spend the winter. But how strange to return to something so familiar, to what sometimes feels like my old life, after so much has changed inside and out. Sometimes I worry that in coming so neatly full circle that I have, in fact, gone backwards. But mostly it feels like an opportunity to see how much I’ve grown and practice the skills and lessons I learned while away.
One thing that definitely falls into the happy-to-be-back category is the view from up here, especially through the skylights. We see remarkably different things in each direction—a combination of sky, treetops, city skyline, distant sparkling towers, and neighboring rooftops. I always missed the calm and happiness I got from this view and am happy to have it back. My idea was to take a photograph from each window, but I only managed one before the snow started falling. For now the skylights are covered in snow until we get some temperatures above freezing and the view has turned inward.