My parents went on a trip to Austria in March of 2004. On the train from Salzburg to Innsbruck, they took a photograph of this scene. My father did this pointillist drawing for his first in a series of Christmas cards. It proved to be one of the hardest to write about. The experience for them was magical, but when I think of this area of the world “Sound of Music” comes to mind. “The hills are alive…” and escaping Nazis. This scene is unblemished, yet the history scarred. Here is my attempt to capture this dichotomy.
May we all find peace, joy, and hope in Christ’s love.
From the train, snow-covered hills beckon
outside Salzburg. The whistle echoes.
Trees stand tall and barren.
Weary travelers stare in wonder.
Somewhere in the distance,
a child is torn from his mother’s arms,
a beggar reaches out with empty hands,
Somewhere, a woman grieves for her lost lover.
But here– on the road to Innsbruck–
a church glistens on the smooth,
unblemished snow, calling out