The Swiss landscapes are undoubtably gorgeous. The hills roll out from the city in soft and effortless green. Local tree variants caress these crescendo’s as if delicately placed with a purpose in mind.
The hills continue on, ebbing and flowing in size and scale. Lakes begin to become more present as you make your way south from Basel and toward the alpine region. And out of nowhere, in the distance, they explode. Mountains erect from the ground. The Alps take over. They are their own force, with their own will. Defining how one will proceed. or won’t.
The word “Alpine” is taking on a new meaning for me. I had not previously thought deeply on it, or had truly felt the expressions that are packed within the world “Alpine.” Yes, I have been at elevation before, I have hiked, slept, swam, skied, etc in alpine regions, well above tree-line. But the word, its meaning, is growing deeper for me. Alpine. I say it with focus. Alpine.
Cold. Unpredictable. High. Windy. Avalanche. Desolate. Void of life. Adventure. Experience. Life. Death. Respect. Time. Age.
Words that express the emotions with “Alpine.”
The people here are comfortable with and have lived these mountains for generations. Its meaning, albeit powerful, is also very cultural. It is a region. Not and adjective. Things here come from “the Alpine.” Vegetables. Bier. Wein. Fleisch. Kässe. It is Alpine.
I thin kit is the intensity of the Alps that draw me in. I want to know the rules. Use them. Respect them. Let nature guide and control my decisions. Fall into the stream of acceptance and not force oneself into something as we, the technologically forward humans we tend to be , are so effortless do. You cannot load up a location in the Alps and take action on your desires just any day or at any time. Nature may not let you. That lack of control, the forced observance of weather… is beautiful.
Back to the Alpine later.
What is it like, many ask … living abroad in Basel. “Well we aren’t on vacation.” I say – why is it, that I feel this way. It is not special, I don’t want it to be perceived as such, either. Or assumed by other that it is all that different. The variances come from what we can or cannot access, the variances come from the challenges we face being foreigners in this country.But although we are now foreign, not local, at all, we speak _the_ international language. English. The global language. We are American and that, I am now coming into light on, is special. Something I have both taken for granted and at times felt ashamed of – especially upon arrival in Switzerland. That is when I felt the most ashamed of being an American. For we were being “Led” by a tyrant – a complete and utter imbecile! But we are American. 30% of the news I observe locally is American news. Our politics, our decisions. American perspectives effect the world. And people care. Not once in my life, previous to my present day, had I thought about how Switzerland may take an affect on me in America, but here, everyday, the Swiss are reminded of American decisions. What is it called when A is so concerned with B, but B doesn’t even know A exists? Maybe that is at the root of ignorance . . . just maybe. Americans are very ignorant to the world at large. I am / was one of those Americans. I am trying to become less of that type of person, but only time will tell if a true change has occurred.