How about some good news? People are feeling more and more antsy, wanting to break free of the restirants of pandemic lock-downs and physical distancing. Today, the New York Times told the marvelous story of how an elderly German and Danish couple didn't let that get in the way of something more important: their love. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/europe/cornavirus-denmark-germany-border.html
Patrick Kingsley tells theri story, beginning at the Mollehusej Border Corssing between Germany and Denmark: "She drives from the Danish side, in her Toyota Yaris. He cycles from the German side, on his electric bike. She brings the coffee and the table, he the chairs and the schnapps. Then they sit down on either side of the border a yard or two apart. And that is how two octogenarian lovers have kept their romance alive despite the closure of the border that falls between his home in the very north of Germany and her home in the very south of Denmark."
Every day since the border was closed, Kasten Tuchsen Hansen, an 89 year-old retired farmer, and Inga Rasmussen, an 85-year-old former caterer, have met at the border crossing to chat, joke, and drink, "while maintaining a modicum of social distance." "We're here because of love," said Mr. Hansen. "Love is the best thing in the world." Their romance began in a "slightly less sentimental fashion" two years ago. Mr. Hansen bought a huge bouquet of flowers and was going to call, unannounced, on another Danish widow. In Denmark, he stopped at a strawberry stand, saw Inga, and impulsively invited her for dinner in Germany. He gave her the flowers, abandoning his original intentions. Their relationship flourished with daily visists and meals shared. When the border was closed On March 13, due to the pandemic, Kingsley reports "they hatched a plan."
"On a quiet lane that winds through the flat farmland between their two homes, the plice blocked the road with a flimsy plastic barrier halfway between the homes. Inga and Tuschen have met there for a picnic every afternoon since the shutdown, usually at 3 p.m. They avoid contact per pandemic precautions, Tuschen notes "the worst thing is we can't embrace each other. We can't kiss," but they bring each other a present daily. The Danish police have threatened to fine them if they stray over the border. Danish mayor Henrik Frandsen noticed the couple's routine and posted a photo of them on Facebook. They have now become minor celebrities, their meeting place somewhat of a pilgrimage site. The mayor said, "I think it brings people some hope, a bit of light in the darkness...these elderly people who've found a way out."
Human resilience is a marvelous thing! Don't underestimate what good you are capable in challenging times. May you find new ways to love today!