Maybe I ought to have written ‘our’ visitors as I suspect that the visitors to my blog from Malaysia I have noticed over the past few days must have been regular or occasional visitors to my wife’s blog who must have been wondering how come no post has been published on ‘Just Sharing’ since the second of June. Let me reassure you: my wife is fine; she had to go back home for slightly more than a month and then she kept herself very busy with stuff she had to do there. In addition, I think that IT-wise she only had access to her i-Pad, which I believe she finds more awkward for blogging purposes than the desktop we have here (or even her lap-top, also here in Lausanne). What is more, when I bought this i-Pad for her two years ago in Geneva, I was foolish enough to have got her a spare keyboard with a (Swiss) French keyboard (with the idea that I would then be able to use it too), so I suspect that this did not prove very conducive to writing entries in English. 😦 Anyhow my wife is on a plane right now and in couple of hours we shall be meeting up at Zurich airport. So I assume that she should be able to share with you pretty soon some nice memories of her stay back home.
For my part, I have not written much for three reasons. The first is that I hurt my left foot on the first of June while we were on the hunt for narcissi in the region of Les Avants. Although we still went on two excursions during my period of ‘convalescence’ (once again for a photo shooting session of narcissi; the other time to visit some private gardens well known for their collection of irises and open-air sculptures), it took me almost two months to see a full recovery of my left foot.
The second reason is that we have had some really lousy weather in June and July: I would think that we might not have had more than three times at least two consecutive days of fine weather. Not only has this prevented me from running in the mountains as often as I would have liked to, but it has also had a detrimental effect on our balcony garden: sunshine is needed for plants to grow well. So much so that the harvest on our balcony garden has been limited to berries, beans and lettuce. What a disappointment!
The third reason is that the present geopolitical context is truly alarming and that I have found it hard to write about trivial matters when people are dying in large numbers in wars in at least three Middle Eastern countries, when there is a risk of a major famine in South Sudan (which would primarily affect civilians as usual), when there has been a flare-up in tensions between the USA and Russia not seen since the end of the Cold War, when there are conflicts still going on in Africa, etc, etc. The downing of the Malaysian jet is also a tragedy and I feel very sorry for Malaysia that she suffered two plane crashes in such a short time because your country seems to have been a pretty peaceful one throughout history from the little I know about it and I thus feel that it was unfair to you. But, of course, life is not fair …
On Friday 18 July, the weather was really fine so I left ‘work’ a little earlier and I took a train to Leysin (Alpes vaudoises), from where I ran up to the mountains. I had intended to see the sunset from Tour d’Aï, but as I was unsure that I would manage to do so and get down before nightfall (and as I had been made a little cautious by my fall last year whilst I rushed down the first steep slope at its sister, Tour de Mayen), I decided to contemplate the landscape from a lower vantage point.
I stayed up there for about forty-five minutes and I was (I have to admit it) a little envious when I heard and saw two men walking up Tour d’Aï with rucksacks on their backs (which meant that they would presumably spend the night up there and see dawn break from such a wonderful lookout point onto the mountains in Valais, France and Switzerland and Lake Léman. All of a sudden (at about at 9:25 pm), the light became much more intense and it light up the mountains behind as well as next to me (Tour d’Aï ) in a bright light, which made the green of the grass, bushes and trees truly radiant. As for the landscape before me, it was breathtaking: the orange glow over the lake and the sky made the experience truly overwhelming. I closed my eyes and let my head lean backwards, then I spread my arms wide open so as to embrace the sun and I made three wishes including the wish that there would not be a major war again, i.e. that humanity would ‘grow up’. The experience (which lasted about 20 minutes) was a quasi spiritual one and I was able to understand why a long time ago in Europe people used to worship the sun at places like Stonehenge, Orkney, Malta, Carnac, etc.
With this beautiful photo in mind, let us pray that our leaders do not drag us into a major war again and that the ones being fought now may end as quickly and as peacefully as possible as well as pray for the souls of all those who have died in these wars as well as in the plane crashes (10 people from the Lake Geneva region were killed in the Air Algeria crash).
And to my Malaysian readers in particular, ‘Selamat Hari Raya’, and best wishes also to all other readers.
- The major manufacturers of weapons according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in 2012 excluding China
- A map showing a proposed pipeline through South Sudan published on the BBC, ‘South Sudan’s food crisis ‘‘worst in the world’’ – UN’, 26 July 2014
- The Russian perspective on Ukraine: US plans ‘first strike’ on Russia, Russia Today, 1 June 2014
PS how nice to have written a ‘pacifist’ post for my 100th entry: