by Matt Potter

On the shores of the Elbe River stands a lonely sheep. He likes to look at the ships passing by. Sometimes he comes to meditate (sheep are very philosophical, I hear) and sometimes — I'm sure of it — he wishes he was on the other side.

I often watch this sheep and wonder what it is he's looking for. This is the better side of the Elbe, I would say, where you'll find more people and better shops and maybe even less ugly housing. Come back. It really is better on this side. Stop this hopeless dreaming.

And what if he said, I can't stay on this side of the Elbe without knowing what life means for me on the other side?

Then I'd say, Go. Discover what life means on the other side. You can always come back. This side of the river will always be here for you.

How do you say goodbye to a sheep? I'm unsure. But as he places his hoof on the plank to board the ferry, I would wonder when I would see him again. Perhaps on the other side. Perhaps back here. Perhaps never.

You might think, How lucky the sheep isn't on the other side! Then he might have wished himself over sooner, or worse, on the next ferry back.

Ah, life is filled with variables. And you can't stop a sheep dreaming.