Sunday Column (63)

What a busy week it was. With the bank holiday Monday and a short week, I managed as always to fit the same hours into a shorter week that I normally fit into a normal week. I am loving it 🙂 Actually I do love what I am doing, so I shouldn’t complain. And some weeks are quieter than others, and this one wasn’t.

The week actually started off much more exciting than work: Colin decided to chew a bit of a hook from our old MP3 player. And to make sure it wasn’t stuck anywhere, we went to A&E late Sunday night. The joys of being a parent. I couldn’t get a nice picture of the x-ray, but you could see the metal bit sitting in his intestine. Luckily it came out on Tuesday morning, so all good 🙂

Then, on the 1st of May, my cousin’s wife gave birth to their second son, Emil. A day later, our neighbour gave birth to their daughter. It is with so much joy to see little babies coming into this world. And, on Tuesday we found out about another friends’ baby joining this world, another girl, up in Scotland. She was born on Sunday too.

I think, although I find it a lot of effort, that the joy of having children, is seeing them growing up and exploring the world. And, for me as a dad, to explore the world with them all over again. I really enjoy it so much but often don’t know how to express it. I could spend hours just watching these little worms. And, it is clearly baby booming time at the moment. Wait, 9 months ago, what happened there? August? Maybe the recession. The bad weather? You never know….

Martin Luther once said:
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

I guess that sums up what it is all about. Even if the end of the world is near, you should never give up and make sure you create new life, new passion and new hope.

Regarding new hope, and never to give up as there is and always will be hope, I watched the movie “Sturmzeit” again. I originally bought it because I like one of the actors, Ben Becker. However, I began to love the story of the East-Prussians, e.g. Germans, that went to live in Munich and New York but always had their heart and home in a small town in East Prussia which is now Russia or Poland.

For me this story shows a great deal of my image of Germany and Heimat. German virtues, German attitude and character. I wrote about it many times before, my Germany.

Heimat is where you feel home. Heimat is translated as “home”, “home land”, “home country” – but for me it means so much more. It means history associated with my family. Family is Heimat. I am reading Janosch to my boy at the moment. The bear and the tiger who compliment each other and say “if you have a friend/family like we do, you don’t have to worry about anything”.

Heimat is the place where you don’t have to worry, you can let go and you can be YOU. No matter what happens, it is your “safe haven”. Here you have gate keepers that protect you from the world and all evil. For most of us Heimat is where we grew up, e.g. for me Detmold, for my wife Dingwall in Scotland.

Now, althought it gets a bit lengthy, my question is how can you create Heimat if you don’t live in any of those places? Having a house, moving the furniture, and having a garden? That just doesn’t make it Heimat. There is a feeling attached to it. You need to create an atmosphere, and I believe there needs to be an atmosphere already around the place you call Heimat.

If you settle away from your own/original Heimat, I believe you will one day visit a place and decide to settle. A place that reminds you of Heimat. A place where you can create Heimat for your family. A place of peace.

Now, enough of philosophy. Don’t get me started where we want to go next, and what is happening next. My head is exploding as it is. The election didn’t help this week. A hung parliament in Britain with the Conservatives being the strongest party. I personally think it won’t be too bad, but time will tell!

I hope you all have a good week. Mine, as always, looks quite busy. We shall see.

Best Wishes,
Volker