The tiny chapel in the woods behind our house in Germany: I find myself missing it today in the metropolitan hum of suburban DC with the tiniest of snow flurries falling. What I wouldn’t give for a German Christmas Market, a dusting of snow, and a tiny chapel behind my stone house.
Wishing you each a season that is merry and bright!
A celebration of Prague: my photo and Madeleine Albright’s words (from her book Prague Winter).
“On a hill in Prague there is a castle that has stood for a thousand years. From its windows one can see a forest of gilded cupolas and baroque towers, slate roofs and sacred spires. Visible too are the stone bridges spanning the broad and winding Vltava River as its waters flow northward at a leisurely pace. Through the centuries, the beauty of Prague has been enriched by the labor of artisans from a plethora of nationalities and creeds; it is a Czech city with a variety of accents, at its best in spring when the fragrant blossoms of the lindens burst forth, the forsythia turns gold, and the skies seem an impossible blue. The people, known for their diligence, resilience, and pragmatism, look forward each winter to when the days lengthen, the breezes soften, the trees regain their covering, and the river banks issue a silent summons to play.” Madeleine Albright, Prague Winter.
It might be more appropriate to call this “multi-titled,” rather than “untitled.” In my mind, it’s a toss up between “On Thin Ice” and “The Beginning of the Thaw.” Either title could describe both the photo and the general tenor of D.C. at the moment, but I’m not sure which is most appropriate this week.
Today the government is back up and moving and the weather has finally warmed, so things are looking up. On the other hand, it’s still the dead of winter and, you know, mercurial D.C. politics are exhausting. For now, I choose the non-committal and non-partisan “Untitled.”
Still, it’s a great photo. If you’ve spent any time in D.C., you’ll recognize the spot. I was standing at the foot of the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial (which is to my back) and looking onto the reflecting pool, with the Washington Monument and the Capitol in the distance.
I don’t recommend venturing out onto the reflecting pool, even after a deep freeze. Even worse to do it in large numbers. Immediately after I snapped this photo, one knucklehead fell through the ice. (Not to worry: the pool is shallow. Still, the cold and humiliation must have stung badly.) So there you go, the curse of thin ice.