This morning, we awoke before the crack of dawn and ventured into the woods right behind our homestay for a hike. Trees were black trunks against a bluish charcoal sky, the paths were in the deepest brown, and the moonlight bleached every stone in our path.
Stepping into the forest, we were robbed of one sense but had our other senses heightened. It was disorientating to be almost blinded but given the ears of a wolf. Even the soft susurration of the branches felt heavy in the ears. The sense of smell was sensitised, the loam in the earth and the decomposing leaves made the atmosphere thick and heavy. The blackness nurtured a sense of claustrophobia inside me even though I knew the woodland stretched unbroken for miles. I’ve been here with Dad before…
As the sun slowly rose from behind us, colour slowly but gradually became more vibrant, more brilliant. Earth was coming to life and we finally could appreciate all that was before us — like this snail courageously speeding over the footpath, the rough, brown-barked trees which stood tall and proud, or the half-blown dandelions which were just as beautiful as completely
untouched unblown ones… And how could I forget — with the sun came the wondrous view of the glowing Alps.
Colour is such an odd thing. I remember learning something along the lines of in Secondary 3 (or 4) Physics: ‘there is no such thing as colour, all it is is the absorption of certain frequencies of light whereas others get reflected, so without any light, there can be no reflection to our eyes and therefore no colour’ in Secondary 3 (or 4) Physics, but then I read this and now I’m confused.
The morning went by quickly, and so did the afternoon which we spent cuddling cats, eating pizza and running errands. The lively evening with the construction workers and our neighbours began at 5pm when we arrived at our house’s Firstfeier (in Germany, we call it Richtfest), which is a celebration that takes place when a house in construction has its roof erected. (It is also a celebration for the fact that none of the construction workers sustained serious injuries, etc.) Dad gave a short ‘thank you’ speech before we dug in and beer glasses clanked. I had a sizeable serving of fresh cabbage salad, potato salad, Bauernbrot (Farmer’s Bread) and a spread made out of fresh cranberries which is usually paired with schnitzel (fried, breaded meat) but for me, it was perfect as jam that I slathered over my slice of bread.
We stayed till the sun set, till the stars came out, till the valley was reduced to near complete silence.