It was my thirty fourth birthday. I woke up early. Patrick, Eric, Doug, and Emma were still sleeping in the bunk beds in our little room in Chalet Martin, a hostel for backpackers in the Swiss Alps. I tip toed out of the room, down the hall, and out into what was a spectacular morning. The sun was shining, birds were singing, wild flowers were blooming, and the sky was blue.
I walked down the path to a restaurant on the one street in the small village that had businesses. The waiter seated me outside on a deck at the rear of the building underneath a colorful umbrella. There was a view of a meadow far down below. I drank coffee and ate alone.
When I returned to Chalet Martin, the others were awake. We took pictures and talked in the sunshine. Emma had a splinter which I removed with the tools on a Swiss army knife. Then we drove to the Solalex nature preserve. Patrick filmed Eric and I playing songs in scenic places. I took a dip in a very cold mountain stream. We had a delicious, late lunch of salad greens that were grown near by. Cows were grazing and the bells they wore rang in the wind, mixing with the sound of pine tree limbs bending, bird calling.
We returned to Chalet Martin late in the afternoon. Matt, the charismatic, Australian innkeeper built a fire in the fire pit, and organized preparation of dinner for the guests. A woman told us in great detail about her very recent experience of a dramatic end to a long term relationship. Eric and I set up near the fire on the patio and played a concert for our newly heartbroken acquaintance and the other guests while the sun went down.
I've never listened to the recording of the show we made, nor watched the film that Patrick took. It was a strange time in life. I was operating under a lot of misconceptions about who we were and why we were doing what we were doing. I struggled a lot with insecurity. None the less, in spite of myself, something clever had transpired. I could see it in how good of a time my friends were having. I could feel it in the generosity of our host, and in the relaxed, attentive comportment of our audience. We were in the midst of a really good part of the story. Sometimes you make a good decision because you're a fool.
I can only speculate as to why I thought it was a good idea to book a concert in Gryon, Switzerland. I'd been there once before, a long time ago, and knew it was a place worth seeing twice. I thought if Eric and I were going to make good music we should have experiences worth making music about. It worked out. It was one of the best days ever.