Our annual family ski trip is generally a whirlwind experience. Children, parents, instructors, friends… it seems there are people everywhere I look. Always someone to greet and almost always something needing to be managed; lost gloves, painful shoes, thin layers, dirty socks!
But this year on our last day of skiing, our guides planned for us to ski down to a restaurant to which we’d never been. The final portion of the journey included a short (and admittedly very easy) off-piste section that was breathtaking in its beauty.
As we approached the woods, we skied through what must have been a small meadow in springtime. The combination of sun, wind and cold weather of the week had caused the upper layers of powder snow to crystallize so that it seemed we could touch and count each individual snowflake. Once we had our fill of playing with the “snowflakes”, we entered single-file into a forest of pine trees.
The awesome beauty and silence that surrounded us is hard to describe. After the hecticness of the week, and perhaps due to the fact that we knew that the next day we’d be catapulted back into the familiar chaos (and less comfortable political realities) of Istanbul, even the children were reluctant to speak as we glided among the trees. Instead, we travelled quietly, each alone, but also together, until we reached the end of the path.
Although each of us loves something different about our yearly week in Alps; for Erim it is the fresh air, for Asya it is being able to be with her friends nearly twenty-four hours a day, for Alara it’s the respite from the daily requirements of scheduling and school, for Alegra it’s getting to have nutella crepes for breakfast every day, for me it’s getting to be in the mountains and immersed in nature; thinking back on that day we all agreed that our final quiet journey through the pine trees was simply magical.