This is my farewell. Brought to you from my sweaty bed where I’m trying to shake off a little fever, so I could go see some motorised dinosaurs on my last day in Geneva. Fingers crossed!
On a more romantic note, I remember our first evening in Geneva like a lovely, fragrant painting. A peaceful family painting that I was in myself!
(It could be of course, that the reality was more like Tom & Jerry’s craziest than a Monet painting. After all, my kids were there! But this is my memory and I’d like to keep it please – thank you!)
From our hotel we crossed the street into the park, with the little one in his stroller. I still remember the ghostly shape of the Jet d’Eau fountain towering on Lake Geneva. (It just doesn’t show in the darn pictures. So maybe it wasn’t there that night. But I reserve the right to my memory!)
We were four years fresher than today.
The city was an exciting stranger. Someone to be curious about. To get to know slowly.
That night we didn’t know a soul but each other.
Then one by one, day by day, month by month, people showed up.
And this post is about them. People from volunteer meetings, schools, stables, playgrounds and from right here in our own neighbourhood. Everywhere where we felt like outsiders to begin with.
Until someone reached out a hand and a couple of kind words.
For those words, for those people, I will always remain grateful.
For what is life if it isn’t shared?
As expats, we live removed from our home tribes and our home territories and our collective memories. At worst, it can be such a lonely experience.
So to recognise a thought in someone else’s words, and to receive a little smile as recognition of ours, there’s no gift like it!
I think it’s human nature needing to share.
Parenting kids whose childhoods are so different from ours.
Struggling to learn something difficult. Like living in a foreign environment.
Things that we feel, love, fear or can’t get enough of – most of these fill with meaning when shared.
Views, country roads, hot summers, little boats on the waves of the lake – and you. All the former strangers I was happy to call friends.
My favourite memories! (Maybe to be joined by some robot dinosaurs this Sunday?)