Look! Look! Even through a dirty train window, the Alps are breathtaking.
If you’re lucky, your life will hand you moments, however fleeting, of luxury. And if you’re smart, you’ll recognize and never forget them.
Today that moment is on a train, traveling from Zurich to Florence. Around us people speak German, Italian and English. My companion and I are seated across from each other. He loves mountains and was worried our itinerary wouldn’t allow much of a view of them. He was wrong.
We have a small bottle of white wine, and a slice of cake on the table between us. The tart, dry Tuscan wine is the perfect foil against the creamy sweetness. Between sips, we marvel at the views. Before us, behind us, beside us, we keep saying to each other, “Look, look!”
It’s spring in the Alps. Staring up at the white-capped peaks, we see surging falls of snowmelt, tumbling, so full and fierce they seem to be long, thin waves, tumbling over themselves in their rush to the rivers below. At one bend, we look down on a fly fisherman in his waders, casting rhythmically, again and again, like he’s waving a magic wand. It is nearly impossible to shoot a good picture out the window of a moving train, and at last we give up and just take it all in. “Look, look!” We keep saying it, as if we could look away.
This is luxury. This is privileged. I recognize it. I will never forget it.