Rushing to get baby milk, driving past the refugee tents in Berg, Bavaria I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Two families queued at the makeshift gates requesting entry. They looked exhausted and grey. I hope relieved and reassured.
One woman in a lilac headscarf and thick tights was holding a baby, my daughter’s age. My baby is wrapped up snug and warm in her crib and this woman’s baby is out in the November night waiting with his/her family for admittance to the camp.
I then walked to the local Rewe City and was queueing behind two Syrian men. One was older, I remember his piercing amber eyes and when he saw I had baby milk he insisted I go ahead of them. I nodded my thanks and began to cry.
I was seeing humanity at its very best. Here was a man, having experienced at the very least the terror of war on his doorstep, still able to show compassion and kindness. I shook his hand and mumbled something stupid and inane.
I have been numb the last few days. Talking the talk, writing, blogging and tweeting about the devastation in Paris, Lebanon and around the world but I wasn’t feeling it. I could empathise and be angry but I was immune to actual sadness.
Tonight, it hit me like a freight train. I don’t recognise my world anymore. I’m living somebody else’s life and I don’t like it. What the hell has happened? I’m frightened, confused and dismayed. I feel wasted, banal and emotionally underfunded.
And then a bloke lets me go first in the queue and I think, perhaps we are going to be okay. Perhaps, we can do this together.