Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heimat

I think I'm getting old.

Lately I've been feeling very... I don't know how to put it..."heimatverbunden" - very attached to my native home.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older. Maybe it's because I'm visiting my parents more often. Maybe there's some other reason.

I grew up in the south-western part of Germany. I call it "The Shire of Germany" because it reminds me a lot of the Shire in Middle-Earth, home of the Hobbits. It's a very rural area, there are no big cities and no big industries. But it's so beautiful! There's a big river (the Rhine), there's valleys and hills and mountains covered with old, dark forest (the Black Forest). There is a lot of agriculture, viniculture, forestry and actually in the past there's even been the cultivation of pipe-weed (tobacco). The rest of the world generally doesn't care about this place, except for tourists maybe (plus there's a town with an old renowned university). The weather is rather warm, and the food - influenced by French, Austrian and Swiss cuisine and benefiting from the warm, nearly Mediterranean climate - is the best in all Germany.
It has been part of the area the Celts originated, later home to the Alemanni tribes but the Romans greatly influenced this area, too (e.g. with their love of hot springs and wine).
Every time I'm on my way home I look out of the train window and admire the landscape, the rolling hills and the mountains looming behind them.

Or well, maybe with the mountains and the university it's a little more like Rivendell...?


Anyway. I find I'm getting more interested in the traditional dishes (though I can't cook), fairytales, history and landscapes of the area. I enjoy the farmer's market and walks in nature. I take more pictures of things I wouldn't even have looked at when I was younger.


The place where I live now is nice, too. The flat is nice (although too hot in summer), there's bus stops just across the street, a big store a few minutes walk away and a mini town ceter a few more minutes walk away. Plus there's a small river with footpaths, trees, garden plots and playgrounds; the perfect place for a walk or Nordic Walking. It's my place, I can decorate how I want and I can clean up when I want. I can do what I want when I want to. I have all of my things there.
But I don't feel like I feel when I'm at my parents - I just feel happier there. I just can't seem to recreate this feeling of home and Gem├╝tlichkeit at my place. Maybe it's because when I'm at my parents, I'm always there on holidays (or when I'm ill). Maybe it's because I get good food there. Maybe because I have company there; I never seem to be able to make friends, so when I'm at my parents' I have more company, more social life (outside work) and communication than normal. I often site in front of the TV in the evening with my parents and watch documentaries or concert DVDs. My parents often go for walks somewhere if time and weather permit, and when I'm there I go with them.
I often think how I could recreate that feeling at my place, but I don't really know how. Maybe it's not possible.

Normally it shouldn't be a problem, but it worries me for two reasons.
First of all, I had planned to live and work abroad, in UK or Ireland, sometime. But now I don't even feel like moving out of state. This, of course, limits possible places to work.
Then I sometimes feel like I'm too dependent on my parents. When I need something bigger my parents often buy it and bring it (I don't have a car), when I need help changing the light bulbs (I'm rather small) or with some other work around the home, with water-taps, etc, my dad does that when they visit me. I feel like at my age I should not depend on them this much. Of course I try to help them where I can. But what would I do without them, when they can't help anymore? I also often worry about them. When they drive home from visiting me, they have to call when they're home. I really don't have anyone else, so I'm afraid of losing them, I dread life without them.

The Shire - Tolkien Gateway
Alemanni - Wikipedia

Upper Rhine Valley - Wikipedia

To end this post on a more positive note, here are some pretty pictures of my home:


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