Wednesday, 12 September 2012

back in town

The kids and I arrived back in Saanen safely almost two weeks ago.  We have been settling in and reacquainting ourselves with life in the mountains.  

Last weekend, we joined a few other families and drove way up a mountain above a town called Zweisimmen.  We parked our cars, gently hiked through a valley and up over a ridge and down to Seebergsee.  The sun was shining and the sky was blue.  It was hot and the ripples on the lake sparkled.  We picnic'ed and swam (ok, so I didn't, but literally everyone else did) and lazed around the lake for the afternoon.  It was the perfect way to enjoy the waning days of summer and unwind after the first week of school.

And, of course, there was a guy playing his alphorn by the lake.  I do not doubt that this happens all the time throughout the Alps.

The first day of school brought with it the requisite mixture of nerves and enthusiasm.   Eli, Graydon and EsmĂ©e were all happy to see old friends, meet a few new ones and keen to get to know their teachers.  It almost goes without saying that I am happy to be back in a daily routine that brings structure to our lives and while it may be selfish, I'm honestly thrilled to have some time to myself.   

one the way, day 1

It's exiting to come back to somewhere that was, just one year ago, a foreign and unknown place.  Last August, we turned up in Switzerland a little dazed and nervous, but thirsty for adventure.  We were full of questions about our new lives - What was it going to be like living in a different culture, surrounded by different languages?  Would we make friends?  How homesick would we get?  What were Jeff and I going to do all day while the kids were in school?  We were a family of five changing things up for awhile and we stuck together, trying to figure it all out as we went along.

This time, I'm on my own with the kids (Jeff is coming at the end of September) and there is already a level of comfort and security.  As the train carried us into the Berner Oberland, the landscape resonated and the familiar silhouette of the mountains brought a smiles to our travel-weary faces.  It felt like we were "home".

We are not here forever, not even for a few more years.  Yet, it feels like home because this is where we have chosen to spend our days and nights.  We have become a part of this community, at least for now and what matters most, is that we are here together.