Many Moons Ago, in a small Swiss Town…

September 8th, 2022 — 10:05am

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I lived in Fribourg, a small town in Switzerland with my then boyfriend, a lovely man who was a professor of mathematics and philosophy at the University. We met while I was doing my graduate work in the states. My father had just died after a long and tormented illness. I felt gutted and lost, so I moved halfway across the world to try to heal my broken heart.

It was an extraordinary experience. I woke up in the morning hearing cowbells tinkling in the distance. I went to my very first farmers market and learned that olives did not just come in cans but in dozens of varieties. I ate triple-cream cheeses and rich chocolates and fell in love with both. I went to concerts given by his younger sister, a gifted pianist. We went to Zürich where I met Federico Fellini, a friend of his uncle’s, at the premiere of his film, “And the Ship Sails On”. I went to Christmas midnight mass in Einsielden, a tiny town where his family had lived for generations, and saw priests wearing golden vestments, gently swinging thuribles filled with frankincense and myrrh. After, we walked back to his parent’s home, through the cemetery where generations of his relatives were buried while snow gently fell. I continued my studies in French, and by the time I left I was dreaming in that beautiful language.

One morning a few months later, I woke up and thought, this place is magical, but it’s not my home. So I left and moved back to New York. But I never forgot the beauty of that place, or the kind humans who gave me a few months of solace and peace.

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