uwe are doing very well. Still. We don’t really believe that Corona is behind us, but we act as if it were. In the (still) three country doctor’s practices in the small town of Nidda, ten kilometers away, the patients are now being boosted for the second or third time, the rush is manageable. Only here, in the practices and pharmacies, as well as when driving the bus, do you still wear a mask. Certainly, at the height of the pandemic, from spring 2020 to late summer 2021, social life in our village came to a standstill. But our advantage was (and is) the exposed location of the small town, which lies in a quasi-Tuscan manner on the cone of a volcano that died out millions of years ago. We didn’t even have to get to know the feeling of being locked in. Especially during the pandemic, country air made and makes free, at least decidedly freer than the Corona breath of the urban.
Our village is called Stornfels and has two etymologies. One leads the name back to “Sturmfels” and is based on a document from the fourteenth century. The second is more beautiful, it ennobles Stornfels to “Sternfels” and is traced back to a sandstone coat of arms of the Counts of Ziegenhain. The village is three hundred meters high, we look down on the flat Wetterau, the starry sky seems closer to us and is still completely unclouded by light smog. But we don’t have to decide etymologically, although being undecided, as the Swiss philosopher Andreas Urs Sommer once put it, is actually something genuinely remote from the land: “The city,” says Sommer, “is a way of life for the undecided. It offers thousands of possibilities. . . In the village you have to make a decision – and being forced to make a decision has something very positive about it.” Whether it’s a storm or a star, we’ve decided on Stornfels.