My March missive arrived from Janet, who resides in San Francisco or thereabouts (or so I surmise from the postmark). It looks like a vintage postcard (perhaps it is?), featuring a lovely black and white photo of Lausanne-Ouchy on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. I photographed it against the backdrop of my closest body of water . . . beloved little Jamaica Pond. It's not exactly an alpine lake, but one must make do with what one has.
The scene on the postcard made me think of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, not because it reminds me of a terrible and piteous monster but because parts of the novel are set near the Alps. As you may know, she dreamed up the story while vacationing on the shores of Lake Geneva. Even years after reading Frankenstein, I remember the sense of majesty evoked by Shelley's descriptions of the landscape:
"Ruined castles hanging on the precipices of piny mountains, the impetuous Arve, and cottages every here and there peeping forth from among the trees formed a singular beauty. But it was augmented and rendered sublime by the mighty Alps, whose white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging to another earth, the habitation of another race of beings."