Happy September 1st

On my bike yesterday, pedaling along Alt-Moabit on my way back from the gym, I had a tremendously appealing thought: it is the 1st of September. The pressure is off. It may not be the first day of fall yet, but by all counts summer is unofficially over. What a freeing feeling; I can finally breathe. After this absolutely dreadful excuse for a summer, during which we had flash thunderstorms weekly and it rained—hard—pretty much six days out of every seven, we can finally go back to it being just simply fall. No more barbecues half-heartedly planned because of the high likelihood that they will get rained out, no more weddings (including my own!) seemingly ruined due to a 48-hour rain run. No more looking up at grey, dull skies and wondering what we all did wrong in our lives, or if Berlin is once again being punished for its grim history with an equally grim, ongoing summer forecast.

No, the summer is over, and the cold, crisp weather will becoming increasingly normal instead of unexpected and dreaded. Instead of looking longingly at those cute sandals I never got to display this year, I will simply return them for storage safely to the back of my drawer and the back of my mind, and pull out the jackets, scarves, and boots.

Yesterday I held an impromptu Federweisser and Zwiebelkuchen party (those two staples of the early German fall), the perfect antidote to end-of-summer blues. Only no one was remotely intimidated by the oncoming darker months, or put out at the thought of facing that long slog towards Christmas. No, we were all quite jolly as we lit the fire in our garden and bundled up, the dire need for a lantern before 9 o’clock yet one more reminder that we were no longer in the high glory days of summer. We spoke of winter days spent cuddling up on the couch with Glühwein and cookies, perhaps using an empty room of our Parstein house to screen classic movies against the wall. What a wonderful season is fall.