Berlin Stories: Gardening Teaches Us 'Immer Mit Der Ruhe'

Oct 10, 2013

Credit Nick Simpson

With the gardening season almost over in Berlin, gardeners across the city develop a slightly irritated, elsewhere look this time of year.

According to playwright Lydia Stryk, they don't fit in out on the streets. They don't belong to its hustle and bustle, as if the coming winter were an unpleasant but necessary cross to be born until garden season starts up again.

Four years ago, Stryk experienced this herself when she decided to take on her own garden plot along the Spandauer Damm.

The first piece of advice she was given about her garden colony: "Immer mit der Ruhe."

Roughly translated, the phrase encourages peace and patience.

Lydia Stryk was born and grew up in DeKalb, Illinois. She lived in London where she trained as an actress, then lived in New York for over a decade before moving to Berlin where she lives in a bi-national relationship. She is the author of over a dozen full-length plays which have been produced across the United States, in Canada and in Germany. Two plays, American Tet and Lady Lay, were produced by the English Theatre Berlin. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing and in German by Per Lauke Verlag and appear in numerous anthologies. American Tet is included in Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays from Northwestern University Press. She also writes essays and cultural criticism and is currently working on a novel set in her hometown.

Berlin Stories Originals are personal essays about the city, read aloud by the writers who wrote them.

The project was created by the novelist Anna Winger in 2009, and since then, more than 100 Originals have been broadcast on NPR Berlin and NPR Worldwide. Berlin Stories are produced in Germany by Anna Winger, Melanie Sevcenko, and Victoria Gosling. For updates, Like Berlin Stories on Facebook or follow the show on Twitter @BerlinStoriesFM.