Summer has left the building!

It came without any warning last weekend, and suddenly the cats and I woke up to a chilly morning of 11c, after having gone through the Berlin heatwave the previous weeks. The day before we were still riding the low 30s and high 20s, and it was still very much Summer around here. But on Saturday morning it was no longer pleasant to sit in the conservatory and have breakfast with all the doors and windows open. On the contrary, we had to go around shutting most of them and snuggle under blankets.

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Summer’s End ©MTHerzog

Autumn is around the corner, and with it comes yet another wave of change, not just in the weather but the seasons, time, and every possible manner, perspective. The transformation of the luscious greens in the surrounding vegetation to brilliant orange, yellow and red has fascinated me since my childhood. Since I had the good fortune of growing up in a country with four seasons, Fall was the clear sign that summer was over, consequently meaning that it was time to go back to school learn something new. For my family it was somehow even more significant than New Year back then, because for those of us expat children who moved around so much, a new academic year often meant the stress of a new school as well and the pain of building up a new social network. It was destiny’s way of wiping the slate clean and ridding my life of all sorts of unpleasant experiences.

My daughter arrived last week for an unexpected visit, which to me was a heaven-sent gift. Time spent with her is so precious and for the briefest of moments my life felt complete again. We both realise that we have gotten used to living alone, though we don’t particularly like it. There are, however, certain new habits that I have developed as a result, among them a new sense of order and a desperate need to maintain my space breathable. After living for the past years in an emotionally toxic situation, I have finally managed to carve an oasis of peace for myself and want to safeguard it at all costs.

Living alone, regardless of when that happens in your life, prevents you from looking at your blind spots, no matter how hard you try to look in the mirror. It takes someone else to point them out to you and bring them to light, but in order to do this, a deep trust and understanding must exist between the parties. So it was my daughter who discovered my first grey hair two days ago while waiting for our dinner at a restaurant. I have inherited the traits of my father’s side of the family, which means that grey hair emerges rather late in life. As I just discovered, my first sliver of silver appeared at 51, compared to a cousin from the other side of the family started turning silver as a teenager!

I can’t explain the peculiar thrill of discovering that I was turning grey. It was a bit like teenager girls waiting for their first menstruation. Funny how life has a way of closing a circle. I got my period very, very early in life, but in exchange, my first silver strand appears only now. My summer has definitely come to an end with it, and now I feel as though I am officially in the autumn of my life. The leaves are turning colours, and so am I. Change is in the air