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