Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday Wish (138); Open Hearts, Connect

photo via

I went in to buy yogurt. That was all. But then I saw the scarf. It was green and blue and embroidered with colorful floral stitching. I didn’t need it. But I did need to touch it, to feel if the colors were as lovely as they looked. So I stood there, admiring it, smiling all to myself when another woman approached the same scarves. Her long hair was white. Her lips were pink. And her smile warmed every inch around her.

            “Did you see they are 25% off?” I said.
            “I didn’t!” she said with a bit of an accent. “Thank you for telling me. I have been admiring this blue one for a while now.”
            “That’s the one I would’ve chosen for you, too. It’s the perfect color for you, especially with your white hair.”

            Our conversation continued … until at last I could hold my question no longer.

            “I hear you have a bit of an accent. May I ask where you are from?”
            “Oh yes, I’m from Germany,” she said with a smile.
            “I thought you might be,” I said, “I used to live in Denmark and visited Germany a lot.”
            “Yes? Well, I grew up in Berlin. Surely you know Berlin?”
            “I do! I was there when the Wall came down.”
            “What? You were?”
            “Yes…” I hesitated as I remembered. “I can tell you what happened…”
            “Tell me. Please tell me,” she said as we stood in the grocery store, our hands reveling in the beautiful colorful fabric of our chosen scarves. “Tell me what happened in Berlin.”

*          *          *

I stood in front of a big hole in the Wall on the Western side contemplating many things as I looked through into no man’s land and to the Eastern wall beyond. The towers with the armed watchmen and their German Shepherds … the thin wires identifying what I guessed to be land mines … the white crosses showing those who tried to escape and failed, and one cross identifying an eighteen year old boy who had tried to escape just days before the Wall came down. I was cold. In every sense of the word. I was touched. I was vulnerable. And for a few moments I was alone with my thoughts.

A West German police officer with a machine gun approached me. I stepped back to let him pass. It was clear that he was patrolling to make sure no one from the Western side would try to enter into no man’s land. And then something happened that I will never forget. Just as he reached the hole in the Wall on the Western side, an East German police officer reached the same hole, on his side, on the edge of no man's land. Both held machine guns. Both were German. Both looked through the Wall that separated them with wide-eyed shock.

And then one man, I can’t remember which, stretched out his arm to shake hands.

And all those years of being strangers, of being sometimes even enemies, fell away. Suddenly they were just two human beings letting their hearts, connect.

*          *          *

Twenty-five years later, Elsa and I found tears in our eyes—two strangers
in a grocery store touched by the beauty of connection … theirs … and ours.


  1. Love and fear
    2 connected strangers in each of our bodies. I feel as though those strangers have sat at the table to exchange ideas and accept that they have more

  2. Replies
    1. And you color the world magic.
      Just by being yourSelf.
      dear dear Jenna...thank you! I love you!