The Circle of Life

(I dug up an older post from when we were living in Switzerland. Reading it again brought back so many feelings including an amazing amount of joy over the good fortune we had to have lived there.)

Two and a half years ago I moved here to Zurich, Switzerland from Stuttgart, Germany. At the time it was a few days before Christmas and the winter solstice. My daughter was a wee three years old and my son almost six months. My husband was beginning a new position at his company. Oh, and did I mention my husband and I were celebrating our (lucky) seven year anniversary?

Two days after we moved, my brother flew over to visit for the holidays and one of my best friends came from Hawaii to spend the holidays with her family from Bern, a mere one and a half hours from Zurich. I drove to Bern to see the city on cold and blistering day. Sitting at a local restaurant with Petra I began to wonder where I had landed. The language was so strange and yet oddly familiar. Seven years of German will help with that feeling.

Yesterday, I saw that friend from Hawaii in Bern as she was visiting her family. The weather was lovely and only a few weeks shy of the summer solstice. My oh my how things have changed. In the next week our family will find out if we will be leaving this land of mountains, lakes, cows, cheese, and (in my humble opinion) perfection. Life here has been great for all us despite some challenges. The weather, the language and culture have made me crazy from time to time but at the same time feel more at home here than I did for seven years 160km (100miles) to the north. And this makes the feelings that I have for Switzerland all the more intense as an impending move nears.

Only a few months ago my husband was asked if he was interested in a position in my former neighbor to the north, Canada. We said ¨yes¨not knowing or thinking too much about it. And then months went by before we heard anything but then it all went so fast. Now we are looking a possible move in August.

As I walked with the kids through Bern yesterday I realized it might be the first and last time we make that trip together. I look at everything now with the same eyes I had when we moved here. I am appreciating the sunsets, the blue skies, the snow capped mountains and the ¨gruezis¨ more than I did before. The kids are hearing more of ¨hey, look over there – mountains with snow!¨than ever before.

And today, as we rollerbladed around the Zurich Airport, I could not help but thinking that in a couple of months we might well be on one of those planes. And while it made me sad to know that the circle might close on us here I know that a new circle will begin elsewhere.


  1. Brigitte Fessele

    And a new and beautiful circle did indeed begin in Canada. But while Switzerland and Canada are different in many ways, what they have in common is the kindness of the people and the beautiful vistas. And that is what matters most 🙂

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