Before the last snowflake melts

I thought I should share a few last impressions before spring comes sweeping in.

And you know what spring can bring… and if the past is any indication at all of what the future entails, it’s about to get pretty seriously crazy.

We let loose over New Year’s in Lenzerheide Switzerland, where the snow was fresh, deep and still falling. Snow angels, snow fights, snow rolling, sledding, digging, building, musing, watching, listening. It was pure joy. We even stuck our heads in to try some headstands. On New Year’s eve we sent up paper lanterns to bring us good luck in 2012.

I am wishing for peace and meaning this year, and starting off the year with close friends and family was a good, although intense, place to begin. As I work on searching for some of my basic feelings, those sticky disruptive ones, that bring me deep within myself to feel the rhythm and energy, I am learning to let go and trust that they will lead me in the right direction even when they seem in contradiction to the personality that I imagine myself to be.

It’s a new road with, what feels like, a whole lot of snow. Good thing I have a strong Aunt who is good with a shovel!

More snow fell up in Schluein than I have ever experienced in my whole long Canadian life. It was wet and thick and presented such a tempting challenge just to walk through… even though the clear intention was to get stuck and have to roll around even more in it. Mia, Nora, Tilmann, the dog Ruby and I spent an afternoon playing and digging to our heart’s delight, until we had a 3-part tunnel and a serious snowball fight completed.

Note that the tree behind Lisa and Tilmann in the above pictures is the same one… just a few hours later in the second picture after the sun came out and the snow plow also came to clear the driveway.

pure mischief preceding the 3 tongues

Back in Zurich, there were a few crystals of frost that would briefly change the light of the city, creating a sparkle in the mornings where the shade would linger while the green would strive hard to fight back.

The warm sun has certainly arrived in Zurich, but I’ll still be dreaming of the winter wonderland in the mountains for a while still.


Naomi visits: a short burst of winter

I would be lying if I said that my excitement for friends who get an opportunity to cross the pond doesn’t have a slightly selfish component… so when my good friend from McGill, Naomi, was given the opportunity to work on her Master’s degree in France for 6 months, I was sure to convince her first of the improved academic conditions and fine chocolates that would be at her disposal in France… and then promptly set a weekend when she could come to visit!

So a few weeks ago, brave Naomi hitchhiked with a friend from Southern France all the way to Eastern Switzerland- no trouble at all, and carbon neutral to boot!

 3 days went by too quickly, but with plenty of highlights.

The first, though probably not the best, entertainment of the weekend was sitting in on one of my craziest lectures, given by the head of my program- a brilliantly abstract mathematician-psychologist, who pulls ideas from almost every discipline and only happens to be in environmental science because the city screwed up the planning when they discovered that his neighbourhood had been inappropriately placed on a unremediated brownfield. He thought he could do it better, so he not only started to read up on the subject, but started a new discipline at ETH for it- Human-Environment Systems, and has recently finished a book on the topic as well. (I’ve recently gotten around to the ‘school’ page of this site, so check it out for a few more ideas about HES).

From there, we explored the city- stopping into interesting stores and seeing all the major sites. Being as touristy as we could despite of the rainy weather.

Impressions in Zurich

As is tradition, we took a series of self-portraits for a range of expressions: see if you can spot ‘it’s ok to keep speaking, but know that I don’t understand that language’, or ‘the more body-language I use must mean more comprehension’, and ‘Naomi’s in Zürich!!’

An evening in Zürich presents endless opportunities, so after visiting with my dog, Tiger, we went to a cinema-bar (a great idea that needs to be brought to Canada) for some of the craziest mixed drinks ever. Naomi had something with a Basil-Lemongrass mix, and I discovered a Carrot-Lime combination.

Guard dog
carrot basil creations

Sundays are perfect for hikes, because everything is closed, we thought… So even with a little rain in the city, we thought we would head up into the nearby hills for a leisurely tour. But as the bus climbed higher, the hills started to get a little whiter on top. I was shocked to see that not only was there snow still up high, but that it was still snowing!

A few pics of the fun that we were about to get into…

First signs of trouble
Crossing the line

It became particularly exciting when our rain jackets and shoes were soaked through, the snow was starting to whiteout the trail ahead, and our lighter melted while trying to start a fire 🙂

But we succeeded to make it over the pass and even take a few heroic pictures on the way. Frequent chocolate stops kept morale high.
white is the new colour for spring
victory against the elements

On the way down, we emerged into brilliant fresh green and ended the trip walking through a mountain river gorge where water (now in the liquid form) was the theme. Springs dripping around us highlighted the bright leaves. A few spectacular streams and waterfalls also appeared as little gifts which I took as the reward for making it through the snow.  

snow melt
two chicks

 Thanks for visiting, Naomi. Miss you xoxo