What better way to ponder the upcoming week, and a new month, than to put on hiking shoes and wander the Swiss trails? Here in Sils, a small village west of St. Moritz in the Engadine Valley, I am far from the noise of my hometown, far from politics, far from all that concerns me. Instead, I focus on one footfall at a time, practicing mindfulness in order not to fall off a mountain!
Yesterday we wandered to the Fex Valley, a place we wanted to visit in January but couldn’t because there was too much ice on the trail. We admired wildflowers, clear streams, and mountains covered with emerald green instead of snow. Part of the magic of Switzerland is finding a charming restaurant in the middle of nowhere, and we enjoyed some rosti with tomatoes and cheese for a hearty lunch. Rosti is basically a meal-sized portion of hash browns (only better), and these were done to crispy perfection. Rosti makes for a great hiking meal, and I find myself craving it when we come here.
After lunch we took a spontaneous trip up the side of a mountain so we could see the lake there. The sign suggested it would take two hours, and those signs are normally reliable. This time, though, it was about an hour short. We live, after all, at sea level, and we huffed and puffed our way up, stopping frequently to catch our breath. Once a herd of cows stopped us as they blocked our path, and one curious cow decided it wanted one of my hiking poles. We decided to find another way around them, circling through pasture and back to the path.
We finally made it to our summit, where we saw a glorious view of the valley below, including the opalescent Lake Sils. From a distance we could no longer see the windsurfers out playing on a Sunday afternoon, but the larger view of mountains, glaciers, and meadows was worth the effort. My feet didn’t agree as we finally landed back in Sils at 6:30 p.m. after 2,800 feet up (and back down), but we loved having a story to tell.
While in Sils, I feel myself in transition. Summer continues to rage back home in Houston, with highs reaching 109 degrees, but fall approaches. My novel is back with the editor for one more look before I put it out into the world. I prepare to send her another manuscript. I have begun others, but am not sure which story will call to me next. I am stepping back from some of my normal day-to-day routine to fill the inner well and find the Next Project.
When we are in transition, and our dreams are in process but not yet manifest, taking time to be in silence and stillness can ease the drama of our daily lives, freeing us to create. As we ease into September, A Woman’s Nest will focus on how to do that.
Many people tell me, for example, that they can’t meditate because “I can’t get my mind quiet.” I was thinking of that yesterday as we hiked in the mountains in one of the quietest places on earth. Even here, there is not absolute stillness. A breeze blows through the wildflowers. Water rushes over rocks down the mountainside. Birds call. Cow bells ring. Nature is never completely silent, and seldom will we be, either. But I would like to demystify meditation this month so that we stop worrying about stilling the mind and start accepting a river of peace that flows gently beneath the other noise that exists, allowing that noise to be there without judgment.
Another reason to find stillness is that when we start to manifest our dreams, we will bump up against fear, doubt, and frustration. As we keep coming back to center, we can learn to deal with inevitable discouragement. Our Wednesday features will focus on the challenges and opportunities that come as we open ourselves up to deeper self-expression. Our Tuesday reviews will focus on DVDs and books that can inspire us when we need to be lifted up.
Have a great week! Thanks for visiting my blog, and come back tomorrow for the Discovery Tuesday!