It is almost exactly one year on from when Frank and I visited Habkern with Emma last, and much has happened since then. My brother, who then was very ill but still at home, died two months later, and shortly after that, his first grandchild was born. He’d so much wanted to meet his first grandchild (and what a lovely child he is!) that I just hope they met each other somewhere along the way – one coming and the other one going…

We have no plans other than catching up with everyone, so we hang out and talk a lot, we follow Karin and Rahel around while they go about their daily business, working in the garden or going on a shopping trip, all the while trying to catch moments when we can ‘help’ by holding Aaron :-)

Little Aaron is a complete delight and it is a joy to watch Rahel settling into the role of mother while at the same time not losing herself.



At night, we are joined by Klichko the cat who hops into our bed and wedges herself between us. So many things speak to me of the last few times I spent with my brother. We didn’t have an easy relationship all through our lives, but it dramatically changed for the better during the last year. I like to remember him like that – when he proudly showed me his garden or, once in hospital, when he talked about detailed plans of which flowers/vegetables to plant where. When he lay resting on the sofa in the living room, with Klichko purring on his chest, and we connected on a heart level without having to talk at all.

The house and garden in Habkern is a world in itself. It is beautiful and life has not stopped in the last year. There is of course sadness and a feeling of a hole, an absence, but also the will to connect with life, to grow, to change and develop.

Every time I’m in Habkern, I feel there is another channel of communication alive, in addition to the usual one of conversation. There seems to be a dream-like, subconscious level, in which I connect with people and the place, and I feel that especially Karin is actively present in that level. I can’t really pinpoint what it is, but it has to do with healing, nourishment, love.

Karin offers us to take some mint from her garden, so I prepare a pot for our hanging herb basket in Emma, taking a little piece of Habkern earth and plant life with us. In turn, we leave some traveller’s gifts with them – Orange marmalade and Sicilian olive oil.

After a few days of immersion in this nourishing environment and a mutual exchange of heart energies, we pack our Emma, bid a fond farewell and move on northwards.

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