Lac Léman, peacefully laid between two majestic mountain ranges, rocks its city to sleep at night. The largest lake in Switzerland, and one of the deepest in the world, what Americans call Lake Geneva stretches for miles throughout one of the many fingers of Switzerland that extend themselves into southwest France. Having strung those beautifully simple patio lights that create a warm yellow glow along the length of its lakeshore, Geneva reveres the water in all of its turquoise blue glory. With the famous Jet d’Eau visible from most points in the city, the beautiful snow-water lake is omnipresent. This evening during a soft pink dusk, I swam in that lake’s grandeur.
Old churches. Heavy scents of centuries of believers and non-believers alike sitting on those creaky wooden pews, turning the pages of the same story over and over again, permeate even the echoes of feet on the cool stone floor. Upon walking into a sixteenth century cathedral, I feel as if for five hundred plus years it has been waiting to welcome me with open arms. And I’m hardly religious. While I have to believe that there’s a greater presence dictating some figment of fairness and justice throughout the universe, that we’re not all just pawns in a giant game of chess with no players, I know that religion can be a lifeboat, and lifeboats cause problems. But despite all that, I walk into a cathedral so old I can barely grasp the terms of its survival, and something makes me feel like I’ve come home again. John Calvin changed the course of history, and I sat in proof of it today, simultaneously praying to something for some sort of equity in the world, and hoping the cracked blisters on the backs of my heels will repair themselves before my next walking tour of magnificence.
Genève takes my breath away.