Sunday afternoon

August 9, 2009 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

I’m alone again. A good friend of mine spent the weekend here. She arrived on Friday around noon. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The day before I had picked a Goddess card: Sulis. Her message: “Spend time near water to recharge your batteries.” So I was delighted when my friend asked that we go to the great Lake Constance.

We walked along the promenade, admiring the sparkling blue water, went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, then walked some more. There was a pool/beach area nearby, but I suggested we take a drive further along the lake to a Point, where I frequently went with the children when they were younger. So that’s what we did.

That area is natural and undeveloped — a smooth rocky beach, trees, grass, and quiet. There were more people there than there used to be, but perhaps because the weather has been so changeable, more people took advantage of the beautiful day. Still, it wasn’t crowded. There was no dressing room, and as I changed in my towel, I felt as if I was a kid again, back at the lake of my childhood, behind the house. The water reminded me of it as well, and I felt an indescribable happiness. The water felt absolutely delicious against my skin. I suspect it combined with those old happy memories to make it a perfect experience.

We swam far out, then back again. The coolness of the refreshing water was delightful. It’s so much nicer than a pool! It’s fun to swim endlessly, and then turn around when you want to.

For quite some time, we lay on the beach, talking. Sometimes we were quiet and chose to enjoy the sound of the little waves washing up on the beach. Towards evening we went for a last swim. There were only a few people in the water. We swam further out this time. The sun’s rays were on the water. It wasn’t ready to set, but it was dipping low. As we swam back, I closed my eyes and surrendered to the complete physical sensation. At one point, the sun had switched shoulders. I opened my eyes and saw that I was swimming back out to the open sea!

That evening we walked to the pedestrian zone and sat at an outdoor café drinking pina coladas. It was a wonderful warm summer night.

Yesterday started off sunny with a few clouds. We drove to Monkey Mountain. There are around 200 Berber monkies from Marocco and Algeria that live there. They have a good chunk of land at their disposal, and the climate is similar, so they feel quite at home. Their natural habitat is being destroyed.

Late afternoon, just as we left the Mountain, it started to rain. We drove to a little town overlooking Lake Constance — on the shore we’d seen yesterday from the other side. It is built up on a hill, and the town is almost all pedestrian zone. Along the promenade, we found a nice place to have a late lunch outdoors, under the awning. We admired the clear blue-green water. There was something special about experiencing the lake from the other side and in completely different weather from the previous day. It was as if we were getting to know another aspect of the lake’s personality.

We walked under the umbrella through this charming town, then drove back to my little city. I hadn’t planned anything for the evening, but we looked in the papers and saw that “Public Enemies” was playing in town — in 20 minutes. So we walked briskly into the city and got there just in time. The film was not quite what I expected, but I liked it. Johnny Depp is a wonderful actor.

Afterwards, the city was in a hush. We walked along the wet streets, encountering no one on the way home. It fit the mood of the movie, which had left us in a state of quiet reflection.

This morning we had a leisurely breakfast, took a short walk, and then it was time for her to go. At the train station, she thanked me for the wonderful visit. I thanked her as well. It was a refreshing change of pace. She said she had enjoyed that we talked about so much, but also that we could be quiet. She had had time to reflect, to think about what we said, and had the feeling that it was a true exchange. Sometimes it seems that the words come hard and fast, but it’s more a space-filler than communication.

I’m glad she said that. Sometimes during the various drives, we fell silent. I hoped it didn’t bother her, but was not willing or able to fill the emptiness just to avoid silence. I like it. I need it. To communicate on such a level, silent pauses are necessary. I am grateful to have such a close and honest friend. It was a weekend of visiting and exchange, not at all about “entertaining”. We both took responsibility for what we did, both voiced suggestions, and truly relaxed and had fun. Ah!

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