To the Froest

One Sunday afternoon, I had a chance to go to the forest.
Although the Lake Zurich is nearby, you can easily access to the forest within walking distance from the central area of the city. Walking or jogging in the forest has become part of our daily life here.

The place I went this day was along the shore of the Lake Zurich. The forest was stretched out near my friend’s house. “Well, the weather turned out just wonderful,” a smiling blond intellectual-looking young man said, looking up the rainy sky.

Holding hands with a small boy wearing rain boots, singing German song that I had no clue what it meant, we climbed up the hill slowly, by walking over the fallen leaves. When we turned into a small lane, my tip of nose sensed something refreshing. I breathed in the deep smell of the forest. Once more, I breathed deeper. Numerous lofty trees connected the earth and the sky.

The moist air from the drizzle in the morning fallen on the ground, and everywhere was filled with this moist air. When crossing the stream, you could feel some slippery touch underneath the shoes. Big and small pebbles here and there were covered with soft moss. They walked through easily by stepping the stones one after another. Once in a while, small breaking sounds of twigs were heard.

Today’s goal is to make a fire in the forest, and to grill big sausages called Bratwurst.

We all spread out in the forest to find some long branches. What would happen to someone like me who had never had anything to do with the life in the mountains or forests, when participating in such an unfamiliar event and faced such an unknown situation?

Feeling simply impressed with the fact that these people have been living in touch with nature since their childhood, and at the same time, being fully aware that I would be no use here at this moment, I silently became the keeper for the Bratwurst. No, it may not be true. As a matter of fact, I did not know what to do. I was just wandering around.

While the army knife of VICTRINOX is well-known in Japan, everybody here has a well-used knife of his own. Taking them out of their pockets, they skillfully made skewers by sharpening the tip of the branches.

I have heard about the story that Swiss children go to barbecues by carrying one sausage of their own, and now I realized this would be the adult version.

It might not be wrong to say that most of the people working in Zurich spend their weekends in the forest in a varied form of this kind.

I wondered if this was the forest frequently visited by the people in the neighborhood. Stones were already piled up. We saw branches of beech tree, larch, and popular and so on. While placing thick trunks, we horizontally poked each “own” Bratwurst into the sharpend tips of the branches mentioned earlier.

Although I felt poking them vertically would be easier to eat, there must be some reason whey they placed them horizontally. Everybody had their own way of making cuts on their sausages. That, also might be their tradition of each family.

Let me repeat, you grill you own. More specifically, you change the angles to roast. Sitting on a fallen tree, by checking the directions of the wind and smoke, you put out your stick over the burning fire.

I found a big stone nearby which could turn to a table. When your own Bratwurst turns to nice brown color, just take it there.

Now I somehow understood the reason whey they had been placed horizontally, instead of vertically. However, they took them out of the sticks. Nicely browned Bratwurst sausages were, of course, very hot. But they grabbed them by hand to eat!!

Still this way of eating food exists in the present time, like a tail of ancient days. What a primitive but wonderful way. To me, grabbing the food to eat in a situation like this, looked very cool. Feeling the closeness of comrades, I simply imitated their ritual.

Around the fire, tranquil and comfortable time went by.

Out of nowhere, appeared some boys with flushed faces. Although this area is not far from town, there may be some secret lanes deep in the forest for these boys.

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