En Attendant

Walking on the forest path near our house proved a bit more difficult yesterday. Leaves, which until two or three weeks ago, beamed overhead with Autumn colors, lay rotting in the mud of the rain from the night before.

Naked trees, bereft of make-up, pointed starkly towards the overcast December sky, accentuating the wet coldness of the air. Sounds dreary doesn't it? Actually it wasn't so bad because the sun broke through occasionally and those trees seemed almost ”¦ what? Optimistic?

The world looks like that when you sleep well the night before.

It seemed to me the trees were saying, 'Yeah, we look pretty stark now but we're just snoozing until Spring. Don't worry. Hope is just a few months down the road. Leaves, flowers and bird songs will bloom again.”

Hope. When we have it we can go through almost anything. When we've lost it, even the sunshine seems depressing. The most hopeless place I believe I've ever visited was a mental hospital. Hopelessness does something to you.

Adolph Hitler Street

A friend told me that during World War II, the Nazi government that had snatched power in Luxembourg renamed Liberty Avenue, one of the main streets of the capital, as Adolph Hitler Street.

One hopeful hand, though, had secretly scribbled under Hitler's name on the street sign, two words from the banned French language-- 'en attendant.”

'En attendant” basically means, 'in the meantime, while waiting, for now but we're looking for a change, until then, etc.”) In other words, 'It's Adolph Hitler street for now but that's going to change.”

Today, if you go from the center of Luxembourg City to the train station, you'll most likely ride on l'Avenue de la Libert