Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summertime at the Lake


Dear friends,

I love my summer vacations in Kuesnacht, Switzerland. Most people think of summer as a season of hot, long and sunny days, ice cream, vacation and barbecues. I think of unconditional love. That’s why I go where I go every year. Come with me on this magical journey.

            Upon leaving the hotel to go for a walk I make a right turn for the main street. The hotel is located along Seestrasse, which can be translated as Lake Street. Indeed, Seestrasse runs along the lake of Zurich (Zurichsee) on both sides. It is a busy and important connection between the many small towns that are nestled along the lake shore. Switzerland is – compared to other vast lands – a relatively small country. This also means that space is scarce. Houses are built right next to each other. The line of cars at every traffic light seems endless.  A walk along Seestrasse is a pleasure for lovers of nice cars though. Everything is here, from Jeeps to Audis, from Bentleys to BMWs. As an admirer of high quality, I enjoy this sight. Passing a couple of mansions with huge gates, I realize that people here certainly must love a high quality of life as I do. “I should move here someday”, I think, and walk on.  

Finally, I arrive at my resting spot, a green area with huge lawns for anything from picnics to book readings, and sun baths. As I sit down at the bench at the lakeshore and look out, I realize once again why I am here. The lake is big enough for the countless boats including the big passenger ferries to make waves. The sound of the crashing waves onto the shore makes me feel good. As water bearing Aquarius I have always loved open waters such as big lakes, infinite seas and endless oceans. My vacation has begun. On my right there is a little pier from which you can take one of these passenger ferry boats to go on a refreshing ride around the lake and a photo opportunity of the picturesque mountaintops against the blue sky in the distance. Compared to other possibilities of summertime relaxation such as being one of too many people at a public swimming area, this spot is quiet and peaceful. I can relax here from my daily stresses at work and in my hometown. Here I can watch ducks play, swans swim in the lake and stretch out to look into the sky where I can see white birds fly high. They look like seabirds. They seem so happy and free. I often wish I was one of them and could stay here forever.

Behind me there is a nursery home. Every once in a while an elderly patient comes out for a walk to enjoy the scenery with me. “Gruerzi”, they always say to me (meaning hello in Swiss German) even though they don’t know me here. The people here are very friendly and welcoming. Indeed, the only interruption you have here is their warm greeting. That’s one of the reasons I love coming here. Kuesnacht near Zurich in Switzerland captured my heart a couple of years ago. As the sun starts to set on the horizon on the other side of the shore, the lake disappears into the night. Nights are magical here. Due to the closeness of the houses and the many streetlights on Seestrasse, seemingly millions of lights start to turn on. One by one they enlighten and surround the lake as if those lights try to hug the lake and wish it a goodnight. This moment feels like a mother tugging her child in for the night. With a gentle kiss on the cheek, the sun starts setting and disappearing behind the hills. As it gets cooler and some wind comes up, I start thinking that soon it will be time to return to my hotel. Nights can be chilly here, even during the summer, and I didn’t bring a jacket.

Now is the most magical time to look across the lake. See all these twinkling lights of the houses and streetlights? They look like stars. Indeed, these lights are not much different from real stars. Look! There are lights everywhere! The daytime was magnificent but this is divine. It feels as if the entire universe comes together in this tiny spot on earth. I see the lights and I feel the unconditional love coming from the creation of all.

            Moments like these make me grateful. Gone are the days of discussion on how expensive my trip must be. Gone are the days spent in defense mode with people who don’t understand what I see in this place, why I would spend my summers here. The entire universe is here to kiss me good night and ensure me that I’ll be safe. What else could anyone wish for? This is what heaven must be like. As I gather my things and get up from my bench to walk back to my hotel, I can’t stop looking at those lights. Back on Seestrasse I walk and keep looking at the stars in the sky and the lights across the lake from the other shore. I feel astonished. I am amazed by this beauty beyond my humble human understanding. I mean, I can study something like science and be amazed by discoveries that people have made. I can study history and learn about what happened in the past. However, I cannot explain this moment. I cannot comprehend this moment. I can only feel this moment. This magical moment and feeling of being a tiny part of our vast universe humbles me. I soon realize that there are not just houses and cars in our world but there is a divine power that manifests itself in nature’s beauty and the endless love that we, humans, feel when we are surrounded by it. Certainly, this place is beautiful. I wish everyone could come here. I can’t keep my eyes from these lights.  

            As I retreat back into my hotel I open my window to look out at those twinkling lights on the other side of the lake once more. How relaxing is the silence of the night now. Now I feel warm again. It’s not just the comfort of my room. I feel loved. Then I start thinking of a very special person. I think of you, earth mother. I know you love lights like me. I know that you live in one of the houses along the lake shore not far from my hotel. So I send a prayer up to the heavens for you and pray for a safe night. May the angels wrap their wings around you while you sleep, protect you, and send you beautiful dreams. I pray for your happiness; I pray for your joy. I pray in gratitude for the opportunity to come here. You decided to live here a long time ago and I surely understand why. Each year I come here I am enchanted anew by the sparkling sun reflecting in the lake, the bird’s cheerful play, the scent of flowers, the friendly people and the magnificent scenery. Yes, it is indeed nice here. As I ask the angels to fly over to your house and wish you a good night from me, I know that there is more than the beauty here. I know that it is your existence down the road that makes me feel so loved. I believe that it is your God given unconditional love you have for the world that fills my heart. “We are all one” you once said, and I believe I know what you mean. You teach the world the meanings of kindness, tolerance and peace such as a mother teaches her child. You display the mother within and help me understand that even I, an ordinary person, am a divine being worthy of love. Furthermore, you help me discover my own mother within. I truly believe that, each time I leave here, I am a better person, thanks to you. 

          This is the real reason why I come here. Yes, the lake is beautiful but there is so much more. You teach me what unconditional love is. You strengthen me and heal my soul. I feel your warmth; I feel your love. Each time I come here I feel renewed. Thank you for your love, earth mother.

Love, Barbara

Copyright © 2015 by Barbara Bullock
Photo credit © 2015 by Barbara Bullock
#Kuesnacht #Zurich #Zurichsee #Summer #Summertime #TinaTurner #Seestrasse #Lake