What I Will Miss, Part Nine: Just Being Here

Last sabbatical in Chicago, daughter C IMG_9988
came for a visit, and in a very cold day with the wind whipping off the lake, standing in front of the Art Institute waiting for a bus, I asked her what she thought of the city. She said that she really liked it. I pressed further, “What about it do you like?” Shrugging her shoulders she said, “Just the feel of the city.” I knew just what she meant. I love Chicago, too.

Both daughters had a similar answer to a similar question the time we went to Hawai’i as a family. “What’s your favorite part of Maui?” “Just being here.”

And so it is with Zürich. I love “just being here.” I will miss the routes I’ve walked all year, wandering in the old town during the various seasons (although tourist season is not quite as lovely as the rest of year), looking at the Limmat River as I cross the bridges, walking into the Hauptbahnhof, feeling the breezes and listening to the thunderstorms.

This year I read Book of Clouds by Chloe Aridjis and was struck by this paragraph. These past few weeks I’ve thought about “the last time” as I say good-bye to friends and do things for the final time.


I am cheered by the thought that perhaps we might choose to return here for another sabbatical. Whether we do or not, it makes leaving just a little easier, knowing that it is a possibility.

And so, we are just about to take off for home, in a few hours. We will land in the US and see our home with new eyes and see where life takes us.

I will continue to blog here for a bit. Probably not every day, but at least a few times a week. Just because our feet won’t be on Swiss ground, we will have packed in our hearts a piece of this country as our most precious souvenir.

Bis später Schweiz, und Auf Wiedersehen, Zürich


2 thoughts on “What I Will Miss, Part Nine: Just Being Here

  1. Beautifully written as always. I feel both your excitement about coming home and the sadness you feel in leaving Switzerland that you’ve come to love in so many ways.

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