Hope springs

A ray of hope is springing in my heart today. Not only has the Swiss council announced its decision to gradually lift confinement measures — shops will reopen from March 1st and outdoor activities will begin to get back to normal — but the weather has gotten decidedly spring-like.

I went for a walk as the sun began to set, going uphill for once rather than down to the lake. I wanted to see as much of the sky as possible. It paid off, as the little road that goes up the mountain from behind our apartment led to a path through the woods back down to town. So not only did I get this view, I discovered a new route for short hikes.

Most of the snow has melted, seemingly overnight. The birds were busy and I even saw a bee and clouds of gnats. This is quite the contrast to the -12 C temps we had on Sunday. And even though I’m not fooled into thinking that this is indeed the start of ‘Frühling’ (Spring) a month ahead of schedule, nor the end of the pandemic, it feels like a much-needed sign.

It’s not unusual to find rushing streams and babbling brooks around here. In fact, in my on-again off-again efforts in German, I have learned that Brunnen, the name of the town where we live, actually means spring or fountain.

It does a body good to get out, breathe the air and be reminded that all of our human problems are nothing to this world we live in. The seasons change to their own rhythm. Nature does its thing. All our cares will soon be washed away in the rains, or lifted in the clouds that float across the sky.

Hope springs.

At least until the sun sets.

How about you? Do you feel hopeful?


  1. margaret21 · February 18, 2021

    It’ true, those little things like emerging snowdrops, or the birds beginning to sing again help my mood out of all proportion. Let hope spring!

    • MELewis · February 19, 2021

      Yes, it’s the little things indeed! I’m having a lot of up and down moments in this between-season period but trying to focus on these mood boosters.

  2. Taste of France · February 18, 2021

    It was downright balmy here yesterday. Snow-covered mountains in the distance, but in Toulouse, people were in short sleeves and even shorts. Daffodils popping here and there. That doesn’t mean we’re coasting toward summer. Strangely, it has snowed here in early May several times in the nearly two decades I’ve lived here, though it never sticks.

    • MELewis · February 19, 2021

      I can relate — you’re so much further south, it must be very tempting to break out the shorts, but experience has shown that to be foolhardy. Snow in April/May is certainly not unheard of in your parts, and at any time, the wind can make it too cold to enjoy the beaches! On another note, haven’t heard from your blog much lately, hope you’re staying well!

  3. Taste of France · February 18, 2021

    Also: your photos are breath-taking!

  4. midihideaways · February 18, 2021

    Oh yes, I’m pretty hopeful at this time of year!! Every time I’m in my garden or going for a walk I notice signs of renwal, of nature waking up. Right now we have mimosa trees in full bloom, the almond trees have started to flower, and there are daffodils in my garden! Spring may not be here yet, but it’s definitely on the way! 🙂

  5. Dale · February 18, 2021

    Oh, I have hope all right… I also am quite the realist and as I walk past the mounds of snow on my daily walks, I know that one day… eventually… I will embrace the stench of rot that only spring can bring! It just ain’t gonna happen here until maybe end of March, beginning of April. Maybe.
    Your pictures are beautiful, Melanie! What a gorgeous area to live in!

    • MELewis · February 20, 2021

      Ah, Dale….it will melt, we know this to be true but in my Canadian memories I can sympathize with that February ‘blah’, when everything seems so bleak. Glad the photos brightened your day! P.S. I’ve been meaning to set you straight on my name but keep forgetting: it’s actually MEL for my full initials – Mary Ellen Lewis. So Mel is my nickname, not short for Melanie. 😉

      • Dale · February 20, 2021

        It will… eventually!
        And jeez louise. Where did I get the idea it was Melanie? Did someone at some time call you that? I don’t usually assume these things! Apologies Mel! 🙂

      • MELewis · February 20, 2021

        None needed! I know the feeling too well. Winter brain freeze? 🤯🥴🥶

      • Dale · February 20, 2021

        We could blame it on that… 😉 It’s another cold day (though, honestly, not that bad, for us Canadians) -8, feels like -13. Peanuts.

  6. Becky Ross Michael · February 18, 2021

    Such lovely photos. As for the hopefulness, I’m working on it:)

    • MELewis · February 19, 2021

      It does feel like work at times…easy to let it get you down. Keep at it and let’s hope for an early spring!🤞🏻

  7. Mary Katherine · February 18, 2021

    I need a burst of hope and sunshine today – thanks for this. We are locked under successive layers of ice and snow, and it’s been way below freezing for at least a week. My campus is shut down all week and I’ve been working from home, and trying not to eat everything in sight. On the good side, I’ve now had both vaccine shots, and husband gets his 2nd next week (postponed 3 times due to weather). Slowly the rest of my family and friends are too, and soon we’ll be able to gather in each other’s houses, if not in public yet. We DO have a dinner reservation at a RESTAURANT this weekend, and I’m excited beyond all reason.

    • MELewis · February 19, 2021

      What fantastic news! Being able to safely enjoy family visits again AND a restaurant to look forward to…bon apétit! 🍷🥰😋

  8. Ally Bean · February 19, 2021

    I’m tired of waiting for all the upside-down things to right themselves in this world, so I am less hopeful than usual. That being said, once I can get outside and go for walks again I’ll be more hopeful. And if I ever get my Covid-19 vaccinations [not even a blip on the schedule yet] I shall be VERY hopeful. So kind of hopeful, kind of not.

    • MELewis · February 19, 2021

      Sorry you can’t get out — makes a world of difference. 🙌 Here’s hoping the universe rights itself soon!

  9. nessafrance · February 21, 2021

    Yes, definite signs of spring over here in SW France, although like you, I’m conscious that there’s a way to go. However, after the wet, gloomy winter we had, it’s good to see a bit of sun and everything springing into bud. I admire your efforts with German. After 24 years here, my French is good, but I can’t imagine learning another language!

    • MELewis · February 23, 2021

      I certainly never planned to learn German. In fact, I resisted it completely for years when I was just passing through, but now as a resident it feels important to try and learn the basics. Like you, I was in France for such a long time that the language came quite naturally. I have no such hopes for German, but if I can at least get by in shops and with people on the street I’ll be happy. It’s tough though! My brain is not as malleable as it was 30 years ago. Glad to hear you’re enjoying some early spring weather in your corner of France. Vive le printemps!

  10. Colin Bisset · February 24, 2021

    Lovely to breathe in those pictures. Brunnen sounds like the Scottish ‘burn’ for stream…

  11. CompassAndCamera · February 27, 2021

    The promise of spring is helping me feel hopeful! Your photos are lovely. Those views!

    • MELewis · March 1, 2021

      Thank you! I hope this year lets you break out the compass and camera again. Until then we must enjoy each other’s views vicariously.

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