The last few months, shuttling between home in Germany and Wife’s home in Switzerland, have brought in a heightened sense of awareness of spaces around me. At Lausanne, the beautiful lake Geneva is just a few minutes walk from Wife’s apartment. In the beginning it was a refreshing novelty; now-a-days, during weekends spent in my sleepy town in Germany, I miss the lake so much that I’ve begun to think of a nearby water body as a necessity for good living.
If Wife has a Lake nearby, I have the Woods. As winter has receded, I’ve ventured more often into the woods, traversing different paths leading to the largish pond at its centre. Mostly devoid of the dense undergrowth seen during warmer times of the year, the woods seem transparent and less mysterious. I’ve spotted deer more often these days than during any walk in summer.
It takes about fifteen minutes to get to the pond, and the first view of shiny ripples through the foliage always brings a smile on the face and a lightness to the heart.
On sunny days, one can spend hours looking at crisscrossing patterns weaved by sunlight striking tiny waves on the surface. Occassionally a duck takes flight flapping its wings furiously, only to circle the pond once and return, in a smooth glide, to the same spot.
The natural beauty of the place makes me wonder why more people do not come here. The only ones I see are the occasional joggers, the solitary man fishing, or someone walking his dog along the shore.
On my last visit to the pond a couple of weeks back, I saw a group of teenagers picnicing nearby. As I crossed them, I heard some shouts from behind : “Hallo, Hallo !!” “Ein Photo !!” I turned around, raised my camera and motioned them to get together. The fell into a line; I focussed my lens and clicked.
Soon the others who were further away began to walk towards this group, asking for more photos. “Zu Spät!” I said smiling, and waving them goodbye I continued walking. A little ahead, at the edge of the woods, the setting sun revealed itself through sharp silhouttes of the last row of trees.
Wood and water – I hope I’m never too far from them, wherever I live.