For many visitors to Geneva, there’s an obligatory photo to pose for, with the famous Jet D’eau fountain in the background. For those who prefer a close up, you can walk up the pontoon, almost to the Jet itself and pose for your pictures there.
Along the way is a sign warning visitors about getting soaked and slipping into the lake and about changing winds that might blow them off the pontoon.
The first time that we came to visit the Jet D’eau I heeded the signs and strayed no further than the signs. But Mamma had other ideas and she happily pushed mtoto in his poussette right up towards the fountain. They got a bit wet but mtoto loved it.
Mtoto loves the Jet D’eau. The Jet D’eau has been central to mtoto’s understanding of Geneva. Mamma’s first ever night away from mtoto was so that she could attend the interview in Geneva for the job that she has now. To encourage her, I taught mtoto the words ‘Jet D’eau’ and he said them to her over the phone that night. When the time came that we knew we were going to move to Geneva, we encouraged mtoto by telling him that we were going to Geneva and that we would live near the Jet D’eau.
Fast forward a few months and our new apartment has a view straight down the road to the Jet D’eau. Almost every day mtoto asks hopefully “can we go and see the Jet D’eau?” Quite often I put him off but at least once a week we go down there.
Today was a good day at the Jet D’eau. The wind was largely taking the falling water away from the pontoon so we could get right past it and out the other side. But it still had some spray drifting back and we got soaked.
And there were two treasures today for going all the way through. The first was the rainbows. We saw them first before we arrived on the pontoon, spreading themselves through the spray. But the best one of all started at our feet, wherever we walked, while we were coming out of the spray.
The second treasure was a sandpiper on the rocks just beyond the Jet D’eau. Just out of range of a decent shot from my camera, I sat down next to mtoto in his poussette and we spent several minutes watching this delightful little bird pecking and interesting things among the rocks.
Then mtoto was ready to move on. Pappa look for a rainbow, he cried. So we went back and this time I dared to keep my camera out.
“Pappa look for a rainbow,” he cried,
We saw it shimmer across the lake,
Flowing from our feet just inches wide,
Then we knew our own treasure we make.