Water is the predominant element of our trip so far. We have visited (and mostly bathed in) wonderful lakes: Klöntalersee (CH), Pragser Wildsee (I), Toblachersee (I), Wörthersee (A), and drove by many more. And now, we camp right at the border of the Soča river in Slovenia.
The Soča has a special energy – and a unique clear blue colour. It springs in the Triglav National Park, crosses over to Italy and flows into the Adriatic Sea later on. In Italy, the Soča is called Isonzo. The twelve „Isonzo battles“ in World War One are named after the river where they took place. It is hard to imagine that this wonderful place formed the scenery of such a dark and sad historical chapter.
The Soča is as cold as it is blue. This does not stop Marian and the kids from jumping into it. Especially Marian has made a habit out of taking a dip into the coldest water. It may have been me who attended a Wim Hof workshop in March 2018, laying down into the ice cold Aare for a minute or two. By now, it is him who practices the breathing and immersing into cold water (cold means below 10 degrees). Why would you do this? Because it strengthens your immune system, clears your mind and gives you a great feeling – right afterwards!
We are rolling our laundry these days. I never used this Marie Kondo method before. Now, in the mobile home, this is a space-saving and lucid way of putting our laundry away.
For people who do not believe that everything is energy and that energies influence our behaviour and our life: You better stop reading this blog here. Because that’s what it is going to be about.
The last three days in South Tyrol have been very demanding. Every day, either one of us felt that his or her needs were not fulfilled. First, I wanted to sightsee Meran (finally!), only to find out that the rest of the family did not share my enthusiasm. So we left after three hours. I was disappointed. Then, we came to the lovely Pragser Lake where Marian wanted to climb what seemed to be (well, it WAS) a steep, wet scree slope, so I was not excited. Marian was disappointed. The next day, Mia threw a tantrum because she felt we had chosen the worst place ever for her to climb – after we had patiently belayed both children for more than four hours. We were disappointed.
Every time, we ended up in a conflict. Every day, our mood turned bad even after a good start into the day. The atmosphere felt heavy, we felt heavy. Things did not go as smoothly as usual. We somehow felt that the surroundings were hostile. Yesterday evening, I felt so exhausted of calibrating the moods of all family members that I broke down into a sobbing mess when we did not find a nice place to put our mobile home for the night. It was a disaster.
Today, I woke up knowing what it was: It had to do with war - THE war! Although I had not spent a thought on it before, I all of a sudden was sure that we were in a place where war once raged in the past. We felt war energies! I got up at four in the morning to read all about World War One. And sure enough: We were placed near the „Drei Zinnen“, exactly where the front line of the horrid „Gebirgskriege“ lead through a hundred years ago. It was a sad, desperate and deadly place to be. Hundreds of thousands of men died there. And despite the fact that the Dolomites are a wonderful, highly frequented hiking region, it still carries these energies. They want to be healed. My own issues with war wanted to be looked at and be healed, too. It is no coincidence that we drove right there into the middle of it. Life always brings you where you need to be.
This morning, we left Northern Italy and drove to a nice camping place near Villach in Southern Austria. The conflicts are gone, the heaviness is gone. We feel light again.
What an adventurous day! We left Sölden to cross over to Italy via Timmelsjoch, a mountain pass 2'509 meters above sea level. Adventurous because of the curvy, steep street - and because we did not fill up "Max" before leaving... We basically rolled to the gas station arriving down in the valley on the Italian side - our brakes literally smoking.
After that followed lunch in beautiful Meran, which I decided to visit again with a friend instead of hungry family members... Our mood has instantly increased, however, after we got hold of the last spot at the lovely camping site we are staying for tonight (Camping Ganthaler in Terlan).
That's it! We left Bern shortly after we returned the keys of our former apartment to the owner, cheered by some neighbors who witnessed our departure. Let the journey begin!
Friends, family, neighbors: Quite a crowd joined our farewell "apéro" in this lovely place near the Aare. It fills us with a wonderful feeling to know that we have such lovely people in our lives. Thank you for your support, thank you for being there!
It’s with – quite surprising – joy and ease that we started to sort things out. Both in the material and in the mental way. The kids let go of a lot of their toys and put them out on the street, where people walking by eagerly pick them up. Meanwhile, Marian and I cancel all sorts of contracts and insurances, declutter the attic and the basement, and drive to the disposal centre with car loads of waste.
Speaking of our car... This evening, I got home from an event just in time to see our car being driven away by a nice guy who bought it some minutes before. This was the moment for me and Lou to get emotional. I can’t believe that we do not have our VW Passat anymore! She has been such a dear and faithful companion for the last seven years. I still remember driving to the car dealer in Winterthur and sitting in the brand new car for the first time, me with a big belly, pregnant with our daughter. It is odd how you can develop feelings for an automobile! Bye bye, my friend! I always enjoyed driving around with you and now wish you the best of luck with your new owner!
I knew this moment would come sooner or later. Luca, our son, is a very strong-minded person. And he announced several times in the past that he would not join us on this journey, but would rather stay at home in order to play with his friends. But yesterday, it was the first time that he cried himself to sleep. I deeply felt his sadness and sorrow, because they are mine, too. Reality starts to kick in. I feel like I have been hit by a train. Or rather: I jumped. And the water IS cold.
I always was a fast decision maker. My picture for the way I handle major decisions is: Jump from the springboard and see how cold the water is later. It is the same with WakingDream: I know the experience of our long journey will be enriching for all of us. But I also know that leaving behind the good life we have here is quite a price to pay. That goes for me and Luca, anyways. We are the ones that love our routines, our social contacts, Bern and the quarter we live in. We are the herd animals. It is different for Marian and Lou. They are less attached to people and places. Which is a quality I wish I had right now.
These last two months in our apartment and our known surroundings will be stony for half of our family. Ironically, summer has just started here – the season we (i.e. the two of us) enjoy most, swimming in the Aare river, going to the public pool around the corner, and playing with the kids down on the street. And that is even before we started packing things up, deciding what to take with us and what to put into storage, and leave this place for good.
In the end, this is what letting go means. Who said it would be easy?
Last weekend, we installed a big roof window in our mobile home. It took us about two hours to cut the hole into the roof. seal the window, put it into the square, screw it tight and attach the frame. It was worth while the time: the light from above creates a bright space inside and adds to the atmosphere.
Boredom? Jealousy? Mere stupidity?
We do not live in a neighborhood where sprayers lurk around, normally. Or do we?
We have been realizing for a while that our project stirs up emotions. This is the first outer sign of it. It is a shock. But it is also what our journey is all about: We want to feel the feelings. Live and experience. There will not only be joyful moments. There will be unbelief, sadness and anger - moments like this one.