For the past years, I’ve been living like a ghost. On one hand and at some point, I had removed myself from socializing on account of major depression hitting me in ever-shortening waves and ever-increasing intensity. And when I’m like that – and I couldn’t find properly working medication – I don’t feel like imposing my miserable self on others. We all got enough to deal with as it is, who needs another downer, right? On the other hand and with the external situation having deteriorated to the point of total bankruptcy, loss of all savings and dependance on social welfare, ‘budgets’ – if you can call it that – barely meet the necessities. As a matter of fact, they don’t, which is why I had to file a lawsuit in order to hopefully receive benefits that I was denied so far and which I’m entitled to by law. What I’m saying is this: I’ve almost been living like someone convicted to solitary confinement. Almost. I’d take walks in the middle of the night and only run errands, when necessary. I practically avoided any contact with people living around me. For years. And it seems by now I’ve exhausted whatever strategies and techniques I found to keep myself from going bananas. So, I decided I needed to come back from living under a rock. Which is what I’ve been moderately instigating as of late and for a few months. Since I still don’t have spending money to socialize in a regular manner, like going out or seeing a movie or something, I would take the bike and go on a semi-daily route around the lakes where I live. And here and there, I’d stop at a beergarden or hang out on the beach, often taking pictures of the surrounding scenery. And low and behold, here and there I’d get to talking with other sun worshippers or people taking a day off or two from their busy lives in the city. Some simply even venture out just to spend the evening, sitting by the lake, enjoying a glass of wine, maybe a good cigar while taking in all the beauty of the nearby mountains, the even surface of the water, enjoying the clear and aromatic air or hang out by the open fire at Strandbar Herrsching. This is how I spent most of my summer, sometimes taking a swim myself, but mostly riding the bike, taking breaks in silent little spots, letting my mind drift off over the beautiful sights and soft sounds of water fowl, feel the sun on my face and enjoy every little moment.
Two very recent encounters made me aware that I’m not the only one noticing and enjoying these sights and sounds. Some people apparently appreciate the beauty and ‘vibe’ of these places to their full extent as well. And I was fortunate enough to get to chat with them a few times. And when that happens, I came back home feeling way better about myself and the situation that I have to deal with for now. Actually, in the absence of most distractions I would be regularly occupied with previously, my appreciation of those seemingly small things gets accentuated and sharpened. And from learning this, there is a deep sense of gratitude that sweetens the significance of this personal transformation that I seem to go through right now. My previous life may have gotten shattered and in addition to that, some parts of my psyche may have been shattered early and for forever and a day. But I’m not all finished or destroyed. In fact, who knows: Maybe these are the first little steps into a life way more meaningful and rewarding than any of what I was exposed to and entangled within in my previous life. Feels almost as if the slate was wiped clean again in order to draw a new picture. And – I now got a story to tell.
But for now, here’s to Mother Nature and her healing powers! And my heartfelt thanks to those ‘strangers’ who approached me or let me approach them. You put the proverbial icing on the cake of days that were already brimming with beauty and an almost sacred sense of personal significance. I feel blessed.
P.S. One of those encounters summarized it beautifully by saying – and I quote him: “Sometimes it’s the seemingly small things that touch people’s souls.” Couldn’t agree any more on that one, yes. Thanks for letting me use that phrase.