Sunday, January 27, 2008
It has been months since I last visited what is quickly becoming my beloved Bremen, but today was the day for it. These January days are, to my mind, best used to travel. So long as the conveyance is closed and can boast a functioning heating system. After the normal greet and coffee drinking that characterizes the close of all the church services I have encountered here in Germany, I tossed my pack onto one of my shoulders and marched practically across the street from my church into the train station. Then it was off to Bremen. There is always this quick moment of panic as the conductor approaches to confirm my fare. I have no idea why, because free weekend rides to Bremen are one of the bonus features of my year long bus ticket, and I pat myself down multiple times on the way to both the bus stop and the train station every time; still those posted warnings about the illegality of riding without a ticket seem to have seeped into my innermost thoughts emerging to toy with my anxiety at will. Despite that moment of trepidity, I spent 40 pleasant minutes on the train and disembarked to find (na Klar!) that it was raining at my destination. To correctly understand the air of resignation I then forced upon myself, you must first understand my relationship to rain. It is of the polar persuasion. Born in the high desert, I grew up being more familiar with cacti and dry, cracked knuckles than synonyms for precipitation. On those delightful evenings when it actually rained it worked to make up in enthusiasm whatever was lost by its prolonged absence. When it stormed we got the whole show: lights and drums. At eighteen, when I moved to Oregon, my understanding of rain was quite altered. The rain started around September and didn't let up until June. It is the sort of rain that must have inspired Chinese Water Torture. I endure this sort of rain primarily by reminding myself that it is the source of the incredible green I am dazzled by throughout the year, but most especially spanning the entire summer. Without that constant reminder, and the frequent application of warm beverages to my internal organs, there is only a fraction of a possibility that I would have lived in Oregon as long as I have. Ironically, the area of Germany in which I find myself has precisely the same weather pattern found in the Willamette Valley with the increased discomfort of a slight general drop, and an increase in windiness in temperature. All of that is to say that it was raining in Bremen. Still, I acquired and partook of the aforementioned hot liquid, sat with my books and unfinished letters, and spend a delightful afternoon in the town next door. At the termination of my visit to Bremen I had another peaceful (although delayed ten minutes by an accident on the rail) train ride home where I now sit in a cozy corner writing a long-overdue blog, which I now close with the wish that you may soon find a moment of weather most particularly suited to your tastes or the ability to endure that which is instead set before you.