Up here, the winter withdraws its fingers from the world only very slowly. In the valley I’ve already seen the first of the cherries dangling from the trees. Actually, the conditions are reversed: the spring, in my view, comes from above and travels down over us, like the weather.
I advance through this period with difficulty, I must repeatedly cross snowfields, sink suddenly knee-deep into them. In-between I struggle through pokey juniper bushes fringing tiny lakes in which peculiar organs of ice swim in gleaming rust-hued water. There is still no way here at this time of year, so I follow my nose, guided by the twitter of tiny birds that exudes a characteristic optimism, as if the arrival of summer is merely a question of a few flutters of the wing. The shadows of the clouds move like lazy animals over the grey skin of the glacier. From the valley the loud torrent of water that flows through under the ice, now and then stones clatter over rocks. I have the landscape all to myself. The laughter of the merry wanderers, who traverse this terrain in big numbers in the summer, seems as distant as the call of the skiers, who race in the thousands over the slopes in winter. «Low season» is the name given to this period by the locals, who proceed to hurriedly write the words «Company Holidays» on the boards of their restaurants and sports stores before flying off to Thailand or Brazil. Where the snow is completely melted, windswept bushes of faded yellow grasses from the previous summer are visible – here and there, a solitary green stalk sticks out of this skeleton. And everywhere there are little crocuses springing out of the ground: white, sometimes hint-of-violet bells in the centre of which gleam saffron-yellow filaments. There must be many millions. My feet trample on thousands of them. And, all of a sudden, I’m uncertain whether I should really be he
First Publication: 3-6-2014