Wednesday August 10, 2016
It’s crazy how closely one gets attached to a place after such a short time.
It’s been 6.5, nearly 7 weeks since I arrived in Switzerland.
I managed to catch nearly every single sunset, and a few sunrises. Sometimes high up on a mountain with the lowering sun casting soft, colorful shadows over the alps. Sometimes from the lonely, rocky pier that stretches out into the water, with gentle waves from the boats far away splashing the rocks on either side. Sometimes from in the lake, with the colors of the sky turning the water around me into a swirling watercolor spill.
I’ve seen countless rainbows in this sunny little paradise. Dazzling my eyes and filling me with childlike wonder and hope.
I love this little town we stay in.
It’s small. It’s tiny. It’s a village.
There’s one store. Sometimes it’s open. Sometimes it’s not. There’s no hours on the door to limit the time they choose to be at home and the time they choose to be sitting inside, meeting locals who stop by for a chat.
No bar. No clubs. No grocery.
It is peaceful. Small. Homey.
We had nights where workmates met on the playground outside the quaint hotel the job put us up in and we swung on swings or spun in the cage-like iron merry go round.
Every night at sunset though, you can find me down by the lake.
The skies here. The clouds. Stretch for miles. Over the lake and resting in the alps beyond. The fluffy stuff grazing the top of the rolling hills behind.
Especially at sunset.
And all of Switzerland. Stole my heart.
The sunbeams. Never before have I seen such brilliant, solid beams of light streaming through the clouds, pointing in every which direction.
And sunflower fields all over.
And wild, untamed batches of weeds and beautiful wildflowers.
And the freshest, cleanest air my lungs have ever had the pleasure of indulging in.
And the feeling of peace. Safe. Serenity. Like nothing bad could ever happen here in this country.
The trains. Running all the time. Zooming past in the distance, the Windows glowing as they take passengers to their destination. Always on time. Always reliable.
The Swiss chocolate. Best chocolate in the world. And the best are with whole hazelnuts tucked inside. Poland has walls of their shops dedicated to vodka. Switzerland has walls dedicated to chocolate.
And there’s a little rat that lives in the rocks of the pier where I swim. I used to just catch glimpses of him.. His little naked tail as he clambered down into a crevice. Now he comes out and sit near my bag as I swim. He is smokey gray with a twisted whisker. His beady little black eyes fixate on me in interest as I float on my back watching this beautiful movie in the sky Mother Nature has set up for me. Occasionally, if I ignore him and don’t look his way to acknowledge him, he’ll let out a little squeak, “Hello! I’m over here!” And I will attempt to slowly swim to rocks in hopes he won’t run away by the time I get there. He teases me.. Let’s me get close and then runs deep in the darkness between the rocks. Hide and seek. One of my favorite games as a child. I will miss him.
Saturday I leave.
My mind is all over the place. My heart leaping with discoveries of new places I’d like to experience. Chasing another whim.
I sent out couchsurf requests to Berlin, Germany… Dublin, Ireland… Split, Croatia… Sardinia, Italy… Edinburgh, Scotland… Wurzburg, Germany… I suppose I’ll end up with whoever responds first with a couch and a promise of adventure.
But I also have workaway.com.
I messaged a place in the Italian alps. A family looking to turn their home into a communal living/holistic/eco friendly get away with promises of mountain views and chopping wood and painting houses and learning to cook authentic Italian and beautiful, like minded people to live with.
My hostel I was going to volunteer at in Zagreb, Croatia messaged me, suggesting that I might be able to come and start volunteering early… Like mid August…
And I still find new places I dream about. New places I need to see.
I want to work on a farm with goats and make goat cheese.
I want to help out on a mountain with the shepards that live high up there, away from cities and learn the sheep and cow herding life.
I know Saturday I will be hiking a whimsical gorge a couple hours north of here.
Sunday I will be visiting a dear friend from when I worked at the hostel.
Monday I am off to ?
I feel like I’m laying down a pathway, a boardwalk of sorts, twisting and turning into the unknown, each night or day that’s planned is set, a stable, solid plank waiting in the distance, something to be sure of… Some boards are covered in miss and glistening dew drops.. Some rainbow swirled.. Some varnished and shiny… Some soggy and rotting… Some splintered and holey… All depending on the day or night that corresponded with that board… the empty bits in between, the vast nothingness, will be filled in as I make plans, as I find sleeping places or adventure plans, and eventually they will connect… Not rushing to put them all down at once because I don’t know where I’m going… And if I run out of boards and can’t find a place to sleep and find my foot teetering over the unknown with nothing solid below to catch me… I’ll close my eyes and take a breath and believe and keep going and a board will appear. Everything happens for a reason.
I kind of want to not make plans.
See where I end up.
It could be disastrous. It could be amazing.
But what wonderful thing didn’t start off as a little scary?
And a month from now. I have no idea where I will be.
Maybe taking a TEFL course in Thailand so I can do what I love, teach, in the places of Southeast Asia I dreamed about growing up.
Maybe meeting beautiful strangers at a hostel in Zagreb, making plans to skip off to a magical weekend adventure to whimsical waterfalls.
Maybe I’ll find a love… A man? A place? A friend?
Something to keep me from continuously searching for more. And be content with now.
Someone who will look at me like I’m magic. Someone who actively seeks to have me around. Someone to watch the sunsets with and chase rainbows with and make dreams come true with.
A place I won’t get an itch to leave. A friend who can laugh with me over something unsaid that we both understand.
But for now, I’m constantly torn between, “if it’s meant to be, it will be” and “if you want it, go and get it”.