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.
Ah, Pat, you have made me feel very homesick, especially since many traces of winter still persist here in New England. But hope carries us through in all things – whether it be the wait for spring to arrive or the promise of a cure that your treatment will bring.
Beautifully writen….such prose. You are good. 82° here in Sterling today. Jim
Thanks Jim. I am amazed that you are so adept at using internet. I bet you have albums full of gorgeous photos from all your travels.
Your writing is a gift that keeps you believing in the beauty of the sunshine outside your windows. I feel like I was right there taking in the spectacular view-beautiful. Keep writing and hoping and believing in the day you can throw open those shutters and soak up the sunshine.My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Pat, you have such a gift! I was longing to be among the beauty of it all:) Peace to you & remember to take life in increments…
P.S. Your post is remindful of a Langston Hughes ” I Wonder As I Wander”
I am honored to be mentioned in the same post as Langston Hughes, one of my all time favorites! Be sure to look out your window, I am sending sunshine your way!
I tried to send a comment this AM but it didn’t go through? Anyway, this is a beautiful post and you have brought me right into your inner and outer world through your descriptions. Your writing is a gift that allows you to experience the beauty around you. Keep writing and hoping and believing that one day you will open those shutters wide and see and feel the sun’s warmth on your skin.
I admire your courage to deal with this strange disease.
Pat, I feel I’m coming to you belatedly in the course of Dan’s class. This is my first visit to your blog and I’m inspired by the beauty of your writing and the courage and strength of your personal story. I hope our group will grow together in our experience as authors. I don’t yet have a website, but hopefully will soon. I’ll be returning here! All the best to you!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I have been trying to figure out how to contact you, because I think if I heard right on Dan’s Q&A’s that you are writing a memoir. Can you send me your email so we can stay in touch?