I am sitting at my desk and outside the window the skies and the trees are on display in an almost surreal splendour. Grey clouds against blue skies divided only by sparkling silver linings and in the foreground orange leaves on trees that seem to be illuminated from within. Why is it that seasons of transition are often characterized by the most intense beauty? Perhaps it is in order to remind us that movement and change are hallmarks of a healthy life.
Yesterday was this year’s first bitterly cold day and I was totally unprepared for it. As I rushed out of my house behind schedule for a meeting across town, the cold air had me in its grip eliminating any doubt that winter is on its way. With no time to turn around and change I scurried to the station hoping to make the bulk of my journey without having to step outside again. The rest of the day was spent indoors with brilliant Autumn sunshine streaming in, sneakily masking an undeniable cold.
Hours later I stepped outside to make my way home and the cold stripped through my meagre, early-Autumn layers making the trip ahead that I had made so many times before seem rather treacherous. I put on my big girl face with every intention of gritting my teeth and speed walking but as a friend reached into his backpack for a scarf and a hat I put my pride in my pocket and asked whether he had any warm clothing to spare.
All I can say is that something as small as a pair of gloves can make a world of difference when you take on the cold outdoors. Standing at Ostkreuz, waiting for my connection to arrive I could still feel winter making itself comfortable in Berlin but as people wove around me on their way to homes, parties, work and countless worlds that I will never get to see, my hands were warm and so was my heart.