Checking ID at the border between heaven and earth

650x366_08041535_hd30-1We sat waiting for the heat to break. They said the record for this day was 103, set back in 2009. That was the day we flew to Germany for our first family sabbatical. In fact we’d gone to Germany this same time of year twice now, and I was going back a third time with my friend Brad, next week. This time, for an annual hike in the Austrian Alps over a Catholic holiday they call the Assumption of Mary. What it’s about is unclear. But perhaps being an American in the Austrian countryside where the thinking is pretty far right, I’ll be more welcome this time.

At one of the mountain passes there’s a marker for the border to Switzerland, a large rock with an S on one side and an O on the other, for Österreich (Austria). Funny how the land looks the same on either side; the only differences are the foods and currency and language, all of which isn’t much different, really. And all that gets blurred at the borders anyways.

Dawn said she heard a story about ants, how their neural capacity is pretty low as individuals but collectively, it rises to a collective brain that allows them to achieve more as a group. Maybe that’s true for humans too, and it’s the inherent nature of good and evil that enables or prohibits that: the good that binds us, the evil which divides.

The last time we were in the Austrian Alps Lily was 10 and peed on the ground, right there on the divide. It will be Eberhard, Brad and me this time, with my mom offering moral support from a nearby lodge.

When the heat broke the westerly winds pulled the cloud deck in from the coast, and the clouds made the morning light look diffused and milky. The skies are still hazy from the Alaskan wildfires blowing down from the north. I guess the wind knows no borders.

All that’s made-up anyways, “man-made.”

This is the precursor to a series of posts I have planned that map back to this one, from 2015.

Categories: travel, writing

Tags: , , , ,

9 replies

  1. i love the rock with the painted letter on each side, acting as a border marking. kind of mind-blowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What did Mary assume? When I was a child I thought you’d, literally, see dashed lines in the road when you crossed a border. Was very disappointed with the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Coastline makes for a border you can see. And bathe in.

    Liked by 1 person

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