Spring parades past my Swiss house that perches on a slope overlooking Lake Geneva. Puffy gray and white clouds hover over the mountain range where Mount Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, sticks its head out like an apparition of my imagination. On a clear day I can see as far as the water jet in Geneva and the tips of the Alps, sixty miles away. The mountains, in different shades of gray, appear to bow down to Mont Blanc, the queen bejeweled in a sparkling white crown.
The earth unfolds before my eyes. In my yard, forsythia transforms into a sunburst. Across the street, yellow colza fields contrast with green wheat fields. Grape vines like gnarled, old arthritic hands reach toward the light. Pink and white blossoms explode on the rows of apple and cherry trees.
Below the fields and vineyards, the rust-colored rooftops of villages peek above a ribbon of green trees outlining a purplish-blue lake dotted with sailboats. On the far side of the lake, milk chocolate colored chalets lace the mountainsides.
A John Deere tractor, like a giant green snail, creeps along turning the soil, while migrant workers bend over vineyards pruning the vines by hand. A rider trots across the field on a dappled grey horse, while overhead falcons and great blue herons soar.
In the picture outside my window, light changes the perspective every second. A ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds, casting a spotlight on a mountain flank.
Why would someone with one of the world’s most spectacular views, live behind closed shutters?
Even though it is spring outside, winter remains in my soul. April marks the third anniversary of a demanding pulsed antibiotic medical treatment that requires me to avoid light exposure. My skin and eyes must be protected and covered all the time. Too much light will damage my eyes and lead to inflammation throughout my body.
Discouraged? Sometimes. Defeated? Never. If I close my eyelids, I can picture the lush emerald fields, majestic mountains and peaceful blue water in my mind’s eye.
I know paradise resides outside my window.
Believing makes all the difference.