“Bloom where you are planted!”
Though it be dark or bright,
Some blossoms give their fragrance best,
In the darkest hours of night.
– Betty Jo Mathis
Simple. Understated. Classic. To me, this is a not a breakfast of champions, but a breakfast of new beginnings. I want to remember this moment even if it is through food – I guess I am a food nerd!! What I really want is to photograph the beautiful 3 tier breakfast platter with an assortment of everything adorable but I don’t have the courage. Almost thirty moms came out to Fischerhütte, a restaurant by Schlachtensee. On this chilly Fall morning, hovering at 10 degrees Celsius, we don our walking shoes and follow a kilometer trail that wraps around the lake. As we begin our way, we see a man in shorts and a lady in a bikini swimming in the lake. Brrrrr! “Ooooh brave souls,” we all admit!
The sun comes out and it turns out to be a great morning. The women talk about the countries they have come from and have lived – Russia, Holland, Siberia, Malta, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Morocco, Japan, Zambia, Mexico, Canada and the US. Many of them move around every three years, especially those whose husbands work in foreign office. The one thing we all have in common is how we understand the difficulty in making connections in a new environment. So this is a great way to ease the transition. Many of them have ties to Germany – either their parents are German or their husband is German. So I am in awe when I learn most of them can speak fluent German. I realize the only way to learn it, is to “walk” through it. I sit amongst the German-Canadians. I listen to them and try to follow their lead. As I order my café au lait, they correct me to let me know in Germany, it’s “milchkaffe.” It’s all in the details now.
The international school that Karina attends understands the needs of families who have been uprooted and transplanted in a new city. In the evening, we meet again with more parents at the school for a wine and cheese event. I want so much to take pictures of the food because the PTA moms have done a great job catering the event and transforming the multi-purpose room in the basement/Keller into “a lounge” with tall cocktail tables in white stretch fabric. So pretty but the food is prettier! Again, I don’t have the courage to take a photo. The counsellors introduce The Process of Transition and offer plenty of resources. They talk about the changes to expect including the highs and lows. We play a fun game to help everyone connect with each other. Such a great idea! Now, I must prepare and brace for the lows (although in our household, I think we’ve already hit some lows). With much courage and new friendships, I hope yoga, Zumba and German classes will help me get through the upcoming bitter winter. I am taking Arlene’s advice – I am learning to make my own sunshine.