Wednesday, February 22, 2012

unmasked / winter sunshine

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Anais Nin
The carnival season is now officially ended - better known as Mardi Gras in many parts of the world – it is a very popular event here along the Rhine river. For almost a week people dress up in colorful costumes and masks, children get several days off school, towns host long parades of humorous, satirical and candy-throwing floats. Nearly every one celebrates like crazy until the whole thing ends on Ash Wednesday when the time of fasting and sobriety has arrived.

But while it lasts the festivity in the air is contagious and especially when the sun is giving a warm glow to these barren winter days. And who can not love a four-day weekend! It makes for a great chance to have visitors and we were totally spoiled with two different families coming and spending time with us. It is amazing to see friends from college after many years and a pleasure to get to know their children who are not just babies anymore but are growing up into clever big boys and mature teens. We took our friends to a nearby city and strolled along the river promenades of Koblenz, and we meandered along the pretty cobblestone paths through the classical old city, all the time enjoying the masked and costumed figures roaming the streets and the music and drums of the parade in the background. We stopped in at a fancy cafe for child's idea of heaven and splurged on elaborate cakes and hot chocolate that was served with a mountain of whipped cream in tiny silver stands.

But if that is not enough treats for one long weekend, another dear old friend from my college days came by after the first visitors left and brought us this delicious apple-wine cake that she baked herself (hoping to get that recipe!!). I feel so grateful to have time with special people who live far away. In a few hours of much chatting it seems that illumination occurs. It is sunshine to be able to simply let down the layers of masks that seem to accumulate over time.
"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine."
 Thomas Jefferson

PS pretty Tilda angel I sewed a few years ago....


millefeuilles said...

This is a beautiful post VERY close to my heart for I am always inspired by Carnaval festivities. I love the way you have penned this post and the fairy cake book made me smile with its pretty colours. Another Silke Leffler fan! I have so much of her stuff around the house including out-of-date Advent calendars which have remained on our walls...

You may or may not be aware that I am hosting a giveaway which I think might be of interest to you. One of the gifts is a book illustrated by Miss Clara the French paper artist. I just thought I should let you know.

Bis bald,


Country Rabbit said...

sounds really fun...i love a carnival x love the doll...this post is lovely x

greenrabbitdesigns said...

It sounds like you had a lovely relaxing time Karen, definitely good for the soul!
Pretty angel. :)
Vivienne x

Judith said...

Such a lovely post to read. It's
nice to meet you Karen! :)

harmony and rosie said...

Thank you so much for popping by Karen, and for your lovely comment. I'm so pleased you did, so I've had the chance to come here to your blog. I had a wonderful holiday in Germany with my parents when I was 15 and we visited Koblenz, amongst other places. It was a memorable time. But the sight of that apple cake is making my mouth water, it would be wonderful if you got that recipe out of your friend .. and even more wonderful if you shared it!!!!
Kate x

PS your daughter's heart cake looks delicious too.

Mervi said...

that's a lovely tilda angel!!!

sounds like you've had a great time with friends... it's good to have those people in life!!!