Blessed Moments ©MTHerzog

The emotional baggage I will always carry with me, no matter where I go. They are not something I can hide or escape from, pretty much like my own shadow. The manner in which I handle this burden and load (yes, I do make a clear distinction between the two) determines my mood and fighting spirit for the day.

I began my day with yet another visit to the doctor, to complain about the medicine I was prescribed last week. Basically I was told to embark on a nutritional and lifestyle change to reduce the chest pains and stabilise my blood pressure. This entails a reduction of sugar consumption, switch from plain white flour products to wholewheat, increase vegetables and reduce fruit, add meditation or yoga to my daily routine, and no indoor sports – anything outdoors is fine, and breathe in as much fresh air as possible. I have no problem with any of the above except the outdoor sports in the dead of winter.

My daughter officially registered as a Berlin resident today, an act that we both viewed as a turning point and celebrated accordingly – not quite according to doctor’s new orders, but close enough. Establishing residency anywhere in Germany is fundamental and is the basis for any official or legal undertaking, including employment, getting a bank account or a new mobile phone contract. One does not simply walk into Mordor, oops, I mean Berlin and move in with someone on a whim and a suitcase. Forms are required to prove your identity, a signed affidavit from the landlord must be submitted, and then the computerised national identity system takes over your life, transferring your data from one city to the next. It’s fascinatingly creepy. Basically it boiled down to my daughter becoming my official room / flatmate now – and life will never be the same again.

The air was crisp and horribly cold, but we got lucky. Literally, out of the blues the sun shone down on us around noon and we decided that this was too good to pass up on, considering all the rain that has plagued the city in the past week. Our energy and feet took us down a path along the river and towards a beaver reservoir close to home. The buffalos were nowhere in sight, nor were the rams, but the light was gorgeous and soothing to the soul.

Feathered Blessings ©MTHerzog

As we walked home, three swans swam by and stopped to greet us. I strongly suspect they stopped to check me out to figure out whether I had any food to offer, but for whatever reason, the brief encounter turned into a wonderful impromptu photoshoot with three willing models. Whenever swans appear in my day they are bearers of good news, so these three were an omen of something wonderful, at least I hope so.