I just came home from my trip to Switzerland . . . . I found my roots and you have no idea the profound affect this had on me.
At first I grieved at all I had missed through the years. I grieved for the fact that my great-grandfather was the one of 14 siblings to make the move to Canada thereby robbing me of growing up in Switzerland, missing all the cousins, aunts/uncles and missing the roots I never really understood I had. I grieved for so many things it made it difficult for me to enjoy the beauty of the land around the family farm.
Then I let it go.
Everywhere I went I saw family. Everywhere I went was a piece of history that belonged to me; the bakery shop my great-grandmother Adele owned and worked in, the apartment where my grandmother Jane-Louise (Granny) learned to knit her stockings from the age of 5, the round church, Chene Pacquier where Granny attended on Sundays. I lived on the family farm and it was the most peaceful place, the place where I sat on the balcony and looked over the land to Lac Neuchatel and the Jura mountains . . . . I could breathe the peace and beauty of it all.
One weekend I spent in Lausanne, in an apartment with 2 cousins. Their balcony overlooked Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) to the Alps in France. I walked the streets (with camera) for a couple of hours and again the beauty of their streets, their apartments; balconies overflowing with flowers, the shops, very European and I fell in love. I walked through the same park my sister did when she lived in Lausanne. She walked through this park on her way to the hospital where she worked and I was allowed to share a little in her life when she lived here.
But the City I fell in love with the most was Yverdon. It was a 15 minute drive from Demoret, the farm where we stayed. Yverdon was the most beautiful little city sitting on the edge of Lac Neuchatel, and it stole my heart. It was charming. It had a river running through it, streets where motorized vehicles were forbidden, street-side cafes on cobbled stones and every store imaginable with everything you could ever want or need. And, it had a Chateau right in the middle of all it all, a visual demonstration of the history of Yverdon. I could have spent days walking about, exploring and enjoying the essence of what Switzerland is.
If I were to describe one thing that made the biggest impression on me (excepting the beauty of the land) I would have to say the people in Switzerland; family, friends or absolute strangers are the most congenial, friendly and polite people I have ever met. They know and live the Bible verse "esteem others higher than yourself" and it was demonstrated in a very heart-warming way.
This is one journey that has changed my heart. I don't know everything it has done for me, but one thing I do know . . . . I will go back and I will learn to speak French, for as much as I understood, as much as they gave me grace to understand and involve me, I don't want to miss a single thing when I'm there again.
I can only hope each one of you has such a life-changing experience sometime, somewhere in some way that opens your heart to the beauty of another land and another people.
Blessings from a Girl on a Journey, home for a little while . . . .