Big news! We're moving to Switzerland.
Big news, friends!
We're moving to Switzerland.
("Didn't they just move to Boston?" they think to themselves.)
Yes, dear reader, we did. We've been here all of 18 months.
But life happens. And a charmed opportunity has arisen. So off we go.
We're looking at late August, pending visa approval.
In the next few weeks, we'll be packing up our place, shipping everything overseas, buying awkward electrical adapters, figuring out how to pay for things in Swiss Francs, and scrambling to learn basic German.
We're looking forward to settling in for more than 18 months this time around.
Work is taking us there. Hubs is knocking it outta the park. He'll move into an expanded European role.
But it's not just about work, honestly.
It's about quality of life, too.
We realize what a great adventure it might be.
The chance to live more simply: to sell our cars, to walk and bike and stumble our way through unfamiliar train schedules; to spend spring break in Barcelona and Christmas in Amsterdam; to meet and work and study with folks from all over the world; to surround our little guy with myriad languages while his brain is totally ripe to soak them all up.
To begin again.
(Which is, of course, yoga and meditation in a nutshell. Beginning again, in every breath.)
We'll be based in Basel, Switzerland's northern corner, right at the intersection of France and Germany. We've found a beautiful, stately old home that probably (definitely) doesn't have air conditioning and probably (definitely) was built in the 1800s and probably (definitely) has seen a few mice over the years. It's elegant and urban, with a peaceful terrace garden, around the corner from a sprawling park, near a gorgeous old cathedral, and walking distance to grocery stores and restaurants and libraries.
I'm excited to teach yoga there; to have more time to write again; to power through the many books on my shelf I've been meaning to read; and to revise and publish the 34 or so half-finished essays I've had languishing in my draft files.
Twenty-three-year-old me spent a year living in Europe and the UK in 2002; my memories of that time are suffused with art museums and croissants and hushed moments spent reading books on park benches in Paris and Hamburg and Madrid. I vaguely remember Zurich as pristine and used-bookstore heavy, my days there bookended by dogeared copies of Breakfast At Tiffany's and For Whom The Bell Tolls.
I still cling to the romantic notion that our life in Europe will mean a return to that slower, more literary pace. That stretch of early-twentysomething years, unbound and intellectual, cultured and hungry to see the world, feels like lifetimes ago, a time characterized by slow internet cafes and no smartphones and everyone still fumbling with the brand-new Euro.
Things have changed dramatically, I'm sure.
So this move will be a beginner's mind experience for us, in so many ways. I'm trying to prepare myself for that humbling Zen experience of not-knowing: not knowing where the post office is, not knowing how to say "Where's the bathroom?" in Swiss German, not knowing how to book a dental cleaning in a new health care system.
But I also don't want to romanticize it.
To be completely honest: this move is also about making a home in a place where we don't have the subtle subconscious fear of getting shot every time we go to a concert or the movies or church. About living in a country where my future kindergartner doesn't have to learn an active-shooter lockdown chant to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (That viral article you read about teaching 5-year-olds to hide under their desks? That was from a kindergarten chalkboard in our school district. Where my kid could go to school next fall.)
No. Effen. Way.
How many of us have joked about leaving the country over the course of the last two years? Moving to Canada? Certainly, it is a privilege to bail when the country feels like it's on fire; I am painfully self-conscious of this truth. It is a privilege to say: hell no, I don't want my baby to get shot up in elementary school; hell no, I won't endorse a racist, xenophobic administration that separates innocent migrant children from their parents and bans Muslim refugees; we'll get out while we can; we'll come back when there's reasonable gun control and universal health care, when the President is someone I'm proud to call our own, someone I'm pleased to introduce to my tiny son as an ethical role model and a mindful leader.
(Whew, ok; political rant over.)
Speaking of mindful leaders: we've been grateful to claim Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey as our own Senators during our time here. Massachusetts does so many things right! Progressive politics and Walden Pond aren't the only things I'll miss about New England.
What a pleasant surprise, a grace, our short time here has been. The beaches! The libraries! The smart, ambitious, diverse people from all over the world!
To my wonderful yoga family at Down Under: thank you for being my home. What a joy it has been to be with you all. Justine, Michael, David, Sami, Erin, and team: you breathe life into one of the best-run studios I've ever worked for. I am so grateful for all the curious, kind, cool students and colleagues I've gotten to know over the course of my time here. I will miss you, deeply, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays, when instead of breathing and sweating and chanting together, I'll be fumbling my way through German transit maps. (Switzerland retreat, anyone?)
A bittersweet goodbye to Harvard Memorial Church, as well. What a delight to have found you all. This picky theology snob couldn't have scripted a better place: high-church liturgy, with stellar music, and inspired, progressive preaching, in a light-filled space, led by well-read pastors who are equally down-to-earth. Worshiping there regularly with our wiggly 4-year-old has been a spiritual shot in the arm — a reminder of what is good and intelligent and hopeful about Christianity. It's reinvigorated my longtime love for theology, and given us hope that we can, after all, find the kind of progressive interfaith upbringing for our son that we'd envisioned. We will miss you — and be tuning in via livestream Sundays at 5pm Switzerland-time, for sure.
Finally, The Waldorf School of Lexington has been such a bright light, as well. We are so grateful for our community there: the warm, welcoming students, teachers, and families it brought into our lives. The best things in education are all there: dirt, nature, laughter, art, music, storytelling, gentleness, and joy. Thank you for being our home-away-from-home over the last year.
As for details:
My last class at Down Under will be Monday, August 6th. (I know, too soon!) Apologies about the very short notice. We've been quietly waiting for everything to be official before making a public announcement. Now that time is finally here.
So in the next week, I'll be teaching
Monday, July 30th at 7:15pm in Newton
Tuesday, July 31st at 9am in Cambridge
Thursday, August 2nd at 9am in Cambridge
Friday, August 3rd at 10:45am in Cambridge
Monday, August 6th at 7:15pm in Newton
I'd love to see you one more time before saying goodbye.
Some of you West Coasters and I have been in conversation about launching regular online class offerings. The great news is: moving six time zones away is an even-better excuse to do this! So stay tuned for forthcoming opportunities to practice together across the miles.
Finally, to anticipate your questions: no, we're not sure how long we'll be there. Yes, we'll be keeping our home in Boston and renting it out. And YES, we want you to come visit!! Meet us in Milan. Rendezvous with us in Rome. Use us as your home base while you trek throughout Europe. Come sit in our garden and drink wine. Tell us about your lives.
Connect with me over at Instagram for regular updates (more often than on the blog).
Please stay in touch.
Can't wait to share this next chapter with you.