Ventures outdoors leave me breathless and speechless. The stark black-and-white beauty of the snow blanketing the streets. The razor-sharp frigidity of the air in my throat and slapping my uncovered cheek bones. The oh-so-careful attention I must pay to EVERY step I take on the pathways and sidewalks to avoid slipping on the patches of ice lying in wait. A trek from here to there is a moment-by-moment pondering of my plodding boots. An incessant examination of my feet and where they will land next.
But the effort is so worth it. Because I find myself here: (please click to enlarge and enjoy even more…)
The Orthodox church in Tanya’s district (Chirimshanskaya) is one of my favorite places. The sanctuary is set back from the street and surrounded by a large park-like garden. In the summer, it’s covered with flowers. But in winter, the contrast between the multi-colored dome and red brick with the starkness of winter’s neutral background took my frozen breath away.
On my list of things not to miss was this church’s “ice grotto of the nativity.”
Even the small kids entering felt the worshipful atmosphere in this simple cave.
Much to ponder … still many more paths to plod.