Some time around 6.17pm on the 3rd of July, my Dad said, “Let’s go back home?” I couldn’t have said yes quicker. No longer than 45 minutes later, with two to three sets of clothes each, a handful of toiletries, two jars of OIAJs (Oats-In-A-Jar) and heaps of fruits packed for when we would get hungry during the 2.5 to 3-hour drive, we were on our way back to our home in Austria.
It was pretty late by the time we arrived, so we headed straight for bed, excited for all the magic of an Austrian summer that tomorrow would bring.
I begun my Saturday with a yoga routine. As I ended with a Sun Salutation and was about to roll up my yoga mat, I sensed movement in the background. I looked back to see my father gingerly walking out of the bedroom, armed with his Leica in his hand and the index finger of his free hand held up to his pursed lip to urge me to halt my movements and maintain the silence.
My father edged closer to me, pointed to the deepest end of our backyard, and whispered, “Guk mal da! Es gibt Rehe – eine ganze Familie!” (“Look over there! There are roedeers – a whole family of them!”) I swear the smallest roedeer was a splitting image of Bambi. :’) Although present in large amounts around Europe, people don’t normally see them roaming about – much less in one’s backyard, so you could imagine how much of a surprise this was for the both of us!
We were blessed with many other little surprises throughout the day.
For one, baby blue-coloured butterflies flew into our dining area and joined us for breakfast – it was such a sweet moment.
Secondly, as we busied ourselves with a bit of gardening that day, we walked past the rose bush to discover not one, not two, but four roses! This particular bush we have usually promises only one rose per Summer, but four beautiful, vibrant, dark red ones bloomed. :’)
Thirdly, we discovered a bush teeming with Johannisbeeren RIGHT. IN. OUR. BACKYARD. Do you know what this means? Free flow of antioxidants and essential vitamins! I had a mini fan-girl moment then – mini, I swear.
As we drove around town that day, we chanced upon kids playing soccer on the meadow, tennis courts being occupied, camping sites squirming with enthusiastic campers, and beachwear-clad youngsters sun-tanning along the ‘beaches’. I’ve put the word beaches in single inverted commas because beaches really aren’t what they are – they are basically sandy plots of land that emerge from the lake, Zeller See!
The sweetest thing happened that night.
My neighbour messaged me to go outside to the backyard for the very reason that there were glow worms e v e r y w h e r e !! Walking into the grass felt like swimming in a sea of pixie dust – it was surreal. I wish I had controlled my excitement a little better and remembered to bring my camera out with me, but I’m thankful nonetheless that my eyes allowed me to take in a small portion of all the magic that Mother Nature has to offer. :’)