Friday, September 30, 2011

Valley of Light

Songt Giusep is a tiny hamlet in the green hills of Val Lumnezia, the Romansh-speaking Valley of Light. Dad had booked a room at Ustria Tgamanada, a lovely hotel run by Mrs. Caminada and her husband.

We arrived in Songt Giusep at sunset, at the end of a very long hike across the Greina plateau and Diesrut Pass. Mrs. Caminada had been worried and was waiting for us next to the town chapel as we walked into town.

Mrs. Caminada spoke Italian to us, German to her other customers, and Romansh to her husband. Sometimes she used three different languages in one sentence. I didn’t understand any of it, and I stayed in my transcontinental home during dinner.

"Imagination is the liberating power possessed by man,"

states the German translation of a quote by the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset. I spent time pondering the quote, and I think it applies to dogs as well.

I thought I'd ask Frau Perchta, who knows a lot about imagination. Her name means "the Bright One," and she has a prominent role in Swiss folklore as the guardian of the beasts. She thinks I'm right about dogs and imagination.

We spent the next day hiking on a mountainside trail through pastures full of milk cows and forests full of healthy firs. The Valley of Light looks both pastoral and wild. Its craggy peaks flow to rolling deep green hills that in turn flow to a steep incline with a rocky river at the bottom.

I kept thinking about Frau Perchta and the quote as I rested on Mom's shoulders. I'm a mighty hiker, but there's no shame in hitching a ride once in a while.


  1. A globe-trotting Dachshund named Tootsie
    With a pert flight attendant played footsie
    Being quite hidden from view
    Sent this terrified Stew'
    Screaming like a demented fruit-loopsie

  2. Does the Valley of light sit attheBase of the Mountains of Darkness?


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