Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Alpine Storybook Christmas

Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everywhere. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last week, at Christmastime, we took a roadtrip from Prague to the Austrian Alps, to stay the week in the tiny ski village of Rauris.

For our family, fresh expats living in Prague only six months from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, this seemed an amazing opportunity. The reality of living in Central Europe makes driving from Prague to the Alps only a five or six hour drive—breathtaking Alps in our backyard (the US equivalent to roadtripping to Chicago, or Cleveland, or Detroit,or the Smoky Mountains from Cincinnati).

Growing up skiing every year near Durango, Colorado, where my grandmother lived, I always dreamed of teaching our boys how to ski. We saved up, and waited. And this year, in the Alps, the dream came true.

It was fantastic …

Starting our boys, ages 7, 8, and 11, without poles, proved to be a great experience, even with the cold temps (-20 degrees Celsius). After a couple of days, they skied like old pros.

The village did not disappoint, as it had been described to us as “a chocolate-box town” with a church in the center. The Christmas Eve service at the village church filled our hearts, as it turned out to be so packed that children sat along the banister to the balcony. I had never dreamed of listening to the Christmas story in German, sitting in centuries-old pews alongside Austrians who share the same Faith, and hearing the same carols accompanied by a simple accordion. A memorable experience for all of us …

Driving home, with a fresh layer of snow and a heavy dollop of fog, we experienced the beauty of the mountains in a new way. With tired limbs from a week of skiing, and hearts filled with the majesty of the Alps, we returned home to Prague. A storybook Christmas …

How did you see this Christmastime in a new way?

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