High Window

July 17, 2009

Verrey,+fenêtre+bleue

“Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. ”

Excerpt of a poem by Philip Larkin

An old wooden house  in an almost deserted village. A  small window under the roof. No one is living there any longer. The curtain is pulled halfway across the opaque glass.   Just enough to let in a patch of blue sky. When I pass in front of the sunburnt wooden facade, I look up and imagine life that used to be behind the  high window.  Was it the bedroom of a large family or a bachelor’s housing ? A room under a corrugated iron roof that must have been too hot in Summer and freezing cold in Winter.  The stove was on the groundfloor, no heating upstair.

I imagine the thoughts that flew to the sky as a hand pulled the curtain.  Thoughts of  other places over the mountains. Desires of leaving the village for a better living. Dreams of knowing more of the world beyond the narrow valley.  Or were they thoughts of happiness  and comfort to live in the place of one’s roots ? I imagine the confidences swept away by the wind as one opened the high window… Cool mountain air that would refresh old walls and nurture one’s soul.  A small high window to let the sunshine in.

on the edge

June 28, 2009

on the edgeThere is this village up in the Alps,  a hamlet really, only a few chalets almost hanging from the steep slope. Hardly anyone lives there nowadays. It used to be a larger village where families of mountain farmers made their living in growing wheat, rye, vegetables on terraces.  Goats  provided milk and cheese and mules were the only means of transportation. No easy life up there but the necessity to cultivate every inch of soil.chèvreWhen I am in the area, I often walk to this village on a small track along a narrow irrigation canal. Water ! so precious at all times in such an environnement. The canal is called “bisse” over there and it is built in the same way as the Arabs did in Northern Africa, in the Atlas mountains. Arabs who did travel as far as the Swiss Alps  many centuries ago and who shared their knowledge about water supply.

bisse sous VerreyIn Summer the sun is hot in this micro climate. Coolness is provided by the gentle flow of the water in the canal and the shade in the woods. Tourists have discovered this pleasant walk  and enjoy hiking along the mountain slopes for miles. I love it up there. In all Seasons. In Winter it is easier to do snowshoeing. The silence is  palpable. Hardly any birds around but the mountain ones or those who did not migrate to warmer climes.Verrey, sentierIn the late Fall, I like to bring a book with me, sit along the track and read. Often my eyes lift from my reading and just look and admire this unique landscape all around. Sitting on the edge of the mountain, somewhere between sky and earth. The mountains towering above and the valley deep down below. I have walked on this path countless times, it is never the same and always a renewed pleasure, a deep gratitude for such a world we inherited and have to protect.verrey hameau

Almost snowed in

January 11, 2009

almost-snowed-inHello  and welcome to my blog ! Happy New Year to everyone !

I am Isa from Switzerland. This is from this spot in the Swiss Alps that I saw the first day of  2009 coming, the sun lit up this mountain on the opposite side of the valley and the day started beautifully. A sign maybe that this new year may be as bright as the moments  experienced up there ?  Who knows… There will be joy and sadness too but let’s wish that Hope will always be present. And Peace too. The kind of Peace that starts in your heart and spreads all around. These are my wishes for you and yours wherever you are.

The cosy chalet was almost snowed in.  Nothing but silence, occasionally the sound of a crow or a blue jay. Barely a few tracks, animals, snowshoes, skis. Cars were not exactly welcome on that morning, snow had fallen all night long and paths were invisible. A slow start of the year, peaceful hours to enjoy the present moment. There were quiet talks around the breakfast table, a smell of coffee and toasted brown bread but mostly the amazement and utter pleasure to find oneself in such a unique landscape, a snowy terrace between sky and earth with mountains as neighbours.