One of the unexpected pleasures of my recent trip to Berlin was getting an opportunity to spend time with Innerwise founder Uwe Albrecht’s five, eight, and seventeen year old daughters, Shanti, Gaia, and Hannah. All three are fluent in both German and English and know a little bit of Spanish as well. They live about an hour’s drive outside of Berlin and were taking advantage of Uwe speaking at the writer’s workshop to visit the famous German zoo. Growing up in a small town, the girls were full of the innocence and joy that comes from uninhibited country living.
There was a large open area outside of the conference rooms where the girls played tag and leap frog with us and each other. Five year old Shanti perfected the art of shouting out “pause” whenever she was about to be tagged. She avoided ever being caught. The girls were such fast and clever runners that Gayle and I, dressed in our formal business clothes, never had a real chance of catching them anyway. They seemed always one step ahead. It was joyful seeing them run and jump and laugh and keep us on our toes. Their ability to strategize among themselves in German and then shout out to us with playful challenges and taunts in English was uniquely intriguing. I doubt I ever enjoyed losing games of tag as much as I did with these bright and lively young girls. (more…)