Archives for June 2010

Truest Love

She doesn’t know it yet, but this is the man that every other man will have to live up to.  And in his eyes, they probably never will.  
I’m unwrapping the gift of the truest love, that between a Daddy and his girl.  Why not join in at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped?

Weekend Wanderings- Mount Rigi

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~ Edward Abbey
This weekend, on a whim, armed with our camera and a small sum of cash in our pocket, we took a cable car ride up the side of Mt. Rigi.  
The views were beyond anything I have ever seen.  At nearly 6000 feet in the air, we could see peaks and valleys for miles, with villages spread out like a fan from the banks of Lake Zug and Lake Lucerne. 

The villages thinned to pastureland with farmhouses dotting the landscape from the base of the mountain to the top.  Distant peaks were layered in snow behind the haze.  
The quiet at this altitude was amazing.  Ambient noise was no longer the hum of lawn mowers and passing cars, but instead the tinkle of cow bells and the soft murmur of bleating goats. 
I don’t know that I’ve ever felt quite so small and yet…I felt enlarged too.  My heart was made bigger with knowing the thing that I’ve only guessed at before.  So few things in life live up to the expectation, but the summit was exactly what I hoped it would be, only better.  
It’s a little bit like life isn’t it?  Crooked and crazy trails do lead to the most amazing views.
More photos to come….

On Nakedness

Europe has it’s own set of rules when it comes to nudity, and I find myself in a bit of a conundrum when trying to explain this to my kids.  I am all for modesty.  I am also all for my kids growing up without a sense of shame about their own or other people’s bodies.  We’re relaxed about it at home, but haven’t had to tackle the subject of public nudity yet.
At this point in my life I am absolutely beyond being shocked.  Nursing school and a rather unfortunate encounter with a fully naked man riding a moped has cured me of that.  There was also the topless grandma playing badminton on the beach directly in front of me, and the Marine posing near the water’s edge wearing nothing but a wristwatch.  Yes, I have seen much and, dare I say, entirely too much on the part of the Marine.

However, my kids…my sweet, innocent, know no shame yet kids, have not been privy to any of this.   Until “Badi” season.  The local swimbad has given them their first experience living in a culture that does not immediately equate nudity with sexuality.  Women go topless, men change their swim trunks in the open, kids strip down and dry off on the grass.  It’s a tricky thing to explain, and I find myself with few words and frequent shoulder shrugs.  Because really, what can one tell a kid when the sixty year old flashing his backside is simply trying to change quickly and head home for dinner?  Or when the kid on the next blanket over gets his swim trunks in a bunch and takes them off in frustration?

It’s strange and freeing and a bit uncomfortable all at the same time, and so I am left to ponder explaining without shaming.  Yes, a conundrum indeed.


Flight vs Fight or a little bit of both

I’ve been quietly and steadily increasing my running lately.  I took a long hiatus with our move, and am just now starting to find my way back.  A few years ago, when I had just begun running, I read a fantastic book called “What I talk about when I talk about running” by Haruki Murakami.  In it Murakami explores his love of running and it’s interconnectedness to the other aspects of his life, specifically his writing.  At the time it resonated with me, but I didn’t fully understand what he was getting at, the writing, the running, how it all fits.

The mind and the body each crave their own kind of freedom.  My mind craves words. Words give flight because they are decision makers, heart breakers and everything in-between.  But the body, it craves the freedom of a fight.  When I run I fight every can’t and won’t and never will be.  I face down doubt, and refuse pain.  I keep running and pretty soon the words that don’t give freedom give way the ones that do.  Words like can and will and might someday be. 

Two years, one marathon, and the start of another training season later, I know what it is I talk about when I talk about running. 


Weekend Wanderings- Here comes the sun, albeit briefly

We finally saw a sliver of sun on Friday evening from exactly 8pm to 9pm, and as luck would have it, there was a local “chilbi” or carnival in town.  I was curious if it would feel foreign or familiar. I have since learned that cotton candy, bright lights and stomach churning amusements are also a universal experience.  As were the groups of tween girls with their dangly earrings and overdone makeup, the boys standing around trying to look cool but fighting the urge to push and shove each other into the mud, and the little ones fussing for want of another sweet.  It seems we’re all cut from the same cloth.

Little known fact: I am afraid of ferris wheels.  I braved it to avoid being labeled a lame mom, and also to bring you this photo…

I’m sure there were some animal rights violations here, but the Swiss can’t be bothered with that.  They’re too busy giving out speeding tickets and rubbish fines.  (We’ve already received two of the above, along with a threat to take away one individual’s driver’s license.  Bitter much?)
Seatbelts? Safety restrictions?  None of those either.  These folks sure do know how to live on the edge.

Anyone for a little weaponry?

I hope your weekend was as colorfully loud as mine, if only for an hour.