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My week in pictures | Kebab boat, Rose gardens & other paradises

EN – Putting this past week’s inner journey into words is going to take a while. Thus, I am beginning with pictures of the outer journey. Let me just say that there seems to be a theme: paradise (and yes, that includes a kebab boat on the Main river in Frankfurt!).

DE – Die Ereignisse in meinem Inneren der vergangenen Woche in Worte zu fassen wird eine Weile dauern. Also fange ich mit der Außenansicht an. Aber so viel sei gesagt: es zeichnet sich ein Thema ab – Paradies(e) (und ja, das Dönerboot am Mainufer in Frankfurt gehört da absolut dazu!).

Frankfurt

 

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EN – The „Dönerboot“. As the name implies, a kebab vendor on a boat. Fish dishes are their specialty. I opted for the classic döner kebab since it’s been way too long since I had any. I was happy with my choice.

DE – Das Dönerboot. Wie der Name verrät, ein Dönerverkauf von einem Boot aus. Fischgerichte sind die Spezialität, aber da ich so lange schon keinen Döner mehr gegessen habe, habe ich mich dann doch für den Klassiker entschieden. War zufrieden mit der Entscheidung.

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EN – I just loved the way the light shone down on downtown Frankfurt that moment. Also, I was surprised by how much I liked the view of the different skyscrapers. I am usually not a fan of that type of modern architecture. But then I realized that a lot of the buildings look kind of like giant crystal stalagmites to me. So maybe that’s why.

DE – Fand’s schön, wie das Licht durch die Wolkendecke brach und auf die Innenstadt fiel. Ich war ein wenig überrascht festzustellen, wie sehr mir die Hochhäuser gefallen. Bin normalerweise kein großer Fan dieses Architekturstils. Dann wurde mir klar, dass mich viele dieser Gebäude an gigantische Kristallstalagmiten erinnern. Vielleicht lag’s also daran.

20170605_18-02-29Frankfurt

EN – I was surprised in general to see how much I enjoyed Frankfurt. I didn’t think the city was any special when I grew up (in Friedberg, 30km/19 miles north of town). It seems to have grown on me over the past few years. I like it better every time I come back. And from your comments on my Instagram/facebook pictures, it seems to show as well. We’ll see where this love story is going …

DE – Ich war auch überrascht festzustellen, wie sehr es mir In Frankfurt gefällt. Als ich hier in der Nähe aufwuchs (in Friedberg, 30km nördlich von hier), fand ich die Stadt nie besonders. Aber sie ist mir wohl doch irgendwie ans Herz gewachsen. Mit jedem Besuch ein bisschen mehr. Und euren Kommentaren zu meinen Instagram/facebook-Bildern zufolge, scheint man es mir ja auch anzusehen. Mal sehen, wo das noch hinführt …

Steinfurt

EN – When I visited my mom and sister, they took me to a new rose garden in Steinfurt. Roses are pretty big this small town, and I remember coming here often as a kid with my family for Sunday walks. Like I wrote earlier, I was not a fan of the great outdoors as a kid, so to say that I have fond memories of these outings would be flat out lying. But hey, some things do change, and I did enjoy this rose garden very much.

DE – Als ich Mama und meine Schwester besuchte, nahmen sie mich mit zu einem neuen Rosengarten nach Steinfurt. Rosen sind in diesem kleinen Örtchen ja allgegenwärtig und ich erinnere mich an viele Sonntagsspaziergänge durch die Rosenunion und bei Rosenschultheis. Wie ich schonmal erwähnte, war ich als Kind kein Draußi, weshalb es einfach glatt gelogen wäre zu behaupten, dass diese Ausflüge besondere Erinnerungen bei mir hervorrufen. Aber manche Dinge ändern sich eben doch und so habe ich diesen Ausflug sehr genossen.

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Friedberg

EN – My parents have their own little flowery paradise, and this connects to my inner journey of this past week. I received my soul name yesterday. It is Sarine (pronounced „sah-rene“), and it means „The one who feeds the flowers of God“. For me flowers are a symbol for joy but now that I am looking back at these pictures from my parents‘ garden, I can’t help but notice the very literal aspect. I sure seem to be coming from a line of divine gardeners. (Remember the pictures from my grandparent’s garden, too! And sure, I did do my share of gardening over the past years.)

DE – Meine Eltern haben ihr eigenes kleines Blumenparadies und das bringt mich zum Thema meiner inneren Reise dieser vergangenen Woche. Ich habe gestern meinen Seelennamen erhalten. Er lautet Sarine (französische Aussprache, also mit stummem „e“) und bedeutet „Die, die die Blumen Gottes nährt“ (auf hessisch: „Die, wo die Blumen Gottes nähren tut“ 🙂 ). Für mich sind Blumen ein Symbol der Freude, aber wenn ich mir diese Bilder aus dem Garten meiner Eltern anschaue, dann entgeht mir der buchstäbliche Aspekt natürlich nicht. Ich scheine jedenfalls eindeutig aus einem Geschlecht von göttlichen Gärtnern abzustammen. (Siehe auch die Bilder aus dem Garten meiner Großeltern! Und, na klar, ich habe die letzten Jahre ja auch ein bisschen mit dem Gärtnern experimentiert.)

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Amritabha

EN – And now I’m here. At the Château Amritabha, Ribeauvillé, Alsace/France. I haven’t taken many pictures yet, but here’s one with the full moon that greeted me on Thursday, the day I arrived.

DE – Und jetzt bin ich hier. Im Château Amritabha, in Ribeauvillé im Elsass. Habe noch nicht viele Bilder gemacht, aber hier ist eines mit Vollmond, der mich am Donnerstag zu meiner Ankunft hier begrüßt hat.

20170608_20-14-51Amritabha

Life | Work in progress

The original purpose of this blog was to document and share my journey as a soul-searcher. I think the main reason I haven’t done that lately (apart from the fact that our internet situation is still kind of a non-situation and I haven’t felt like staying at the office just so that I can spend more time by the computer) is that some things are still too new and fragile to share yet. I need to manifest and live them before I can share them. Does that make sense?

But spiritual growth for me is nothing separate from physical growth, and I see our garden as a big part of what I want to accomplish in this life. So lately I have been thinking that I want to document that part more, even if it’s just to be able to see how things evolve from one year to the next.

Last year, our first, felt like a struggle. I was working full-time, and often felt too exhausted to want to o anything at all after work. We picked the heaviest, most clayey spot on our entire land to grow vegetables on, and nothing much grew besides potatoes. This year we’re only growing potatoes on it – and we dug out another bed (much better soil) where we grow other veggies.

We built a greenhouse last year, and the tomatoes and squash grew into a jungle. The cucumbers died, we watered them with cold water. I made tomato chutney and jam, and lots of squash cheesecake. At the end of the season I got hold of another (a „real“ greenhouse) through the Swedish equivalent to craigslist. The previous owners sold it for next to nothing because a storm had destroyed a lot of the glass. So this year we have two green-houses.

The tomatoes I pre-grew all died because I didn’t think to harden them before planting them into the green-house. Luckily, a much more experienced gardening-enthusiast down the street sold their excess tomato plants. That way I even got hold of a couple of exotic specimens they had brought home from a vacation. No suqash this year, I simply forgot to pre-grow it. Cucumbers, though, and melons!

We have been talking about chickens, too. Haven’t gotten further than getting books from the library, though. That’s one of the things that I like about gardening (besides lovely „free“, organic food): there will always be another chance, another spring, another summer, more time to grow.

Northern gardening lesson #1: Pregrow everything

This is my second year growing stuff on actual soil, not just a balcony and a kitchen window sill. Last year’s lesson: pregrow EVERYTHING. I learned that one by not pregrowing anything except for tomatoes. And those still didn’t ripen fast enough before it got too cold. In my defense, we talked to our neighbors before getting started, and they all said that they never pregrow anything, they plant right in the soil. The rule of thumb up here is not to plant before the summer solstice (21 June), since it can still get below freezing before that (doesn’t happen often but still). That’s cold, man! And obviously summer doesn’t last longer around here just because it starts late, so … you get the picture.

I label the seedbeds with washi tape. I’m even smart enough to mark the seedbed AND the lid, since, you know, you can put the lid on two ways but that don’t mean the seeds switch place, too …

So yesterday I planted 192 plus seeds – melon, cucumber, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, egg plants, the works. Excited to see what lessons this year has in store for me. If I had to guess now it could be: don’t let your cats use the land you want to grow food on as a litter box during the winter if you don’t want them to do their business there during the summer … But hey, I might be wrong.

Harvest

When  I was growing tomatoes on the balcony of our apartment in Gothenburg, I decided that I would call it a success if I could get just one tomato out of it. I even insisted on taking the plants with us when we moved. They survived, and we got more than one tomato (not a lot more but hey). So I tried to approach this first year growing on our land with a similar attitude: I wanted to be happy with whatever we’d get, and take it as a sort of reference point for next year.

Our first greenhouse

It’s a jungle in there …

I am actually really pleased with the result, all things considered, and amazed by how much you get, even when you don’t put a lot of work into it, or sometimes not even any work at all. Like with all the lingon and rowan berries we picked and made jam from, or the two (!?) apple trees that produced so many apples this year that we couldn’t even process all of them.

left to right: potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli & cauliflower
Rönnbär – rowan berries – Vogelbeeren
Lingon – Preiselbeeren

I am beginning to suspect that this notion of scarcity is something less natural than I have been led to believe, maybe a result of the food industry as it is today. It seems to me that the natural state really is abundance. It might take me some time to get used to that, at this point I am pretty still mourning every single apple that’s lying on the ground, not being made into jam, sauce or chips …