Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunshine and Rain

One of my favorite quotes that was shared on my Facebook the other day said "It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow." These words are so true, and I've been clinging to them while we go through this.

We have been blessed with many rays of sunshine while here, despite the rain. One of these happened last night. Our dear friend Olga is sick and we haven't been able to get together yet, but she emailed asking what she or her friends could do for us. We asked her about possibly seeing some cultural event or program, and she suggested the ballet. Her friend Julia, who we were fortunate to spend some time with on our first trip, offered to take us to see Beauty and the Beast at the ballet theater at the Kremlin! We quickly said yes to her offer and before we knew it, we were in our way!

We put on our heels and headed out. We had to park some distance from the Kremlin, and Julia was worried about us walking all that way in our heels. Jeana and I laughed at how awkward we must have looked trying to walk in those things on the snowy cobblestone sidewalks. Julia was so kind and held onto my arm (we see the women here doing this all the time-linking arms to keep each other from falling, and to keep warm I'm sure). I felt like a true Russian!
Julia and I walking through the underground tunnel to cross the busy ring road.

By the time we arrived my shoes and pantyhose were so dirty, Jeana had to take a photo if them:

Dirty shoes and feet.

Feeling so blessed.

The ballet was even more than what you would expect from the world renown Russian Ballet. The stage was enormous, the sets so incredibly detailed, the costumes unparalleled, and the ballerinas and dancers the finest you could imagine. There was a live orchestra, of course, whose music resonated throughout the hall and made you feel so connected to the whole story.
At the end of the performance, audience members brought flowers to the dancers they liked best.
At intermission we headed to the top floor of the ballet house for refreshments. Julia told us this used to be the busiest and most famous ballet house in Russia. I asked her what had changed that and she said that there are now many ballet houses and so it is not as busy. But in soviet times, it was the premiere invite. The hall itself is inside the Kremlin walls. The main foyer had huge stone mosaics of each former Republic's official seal. It definitely felt like old Russia and I could just imagine what it must have been like when it was filled to capacity with the fanciest of Russian society.

The seals of the Soviet Republics.
The final scene of the story, when Belle's love turns the Beast into a prince, was so beautiful. Their dancing and the music just swept you up in the whole story and it was so moving. I just wanted to cheer for them! 
The orchestra pit at intermission.

 I will never forget this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Thank you, Julia, for another unforgettable day in Moscow!  Thank you for adding sunshine to our rain.


  1. I'm so happy you and Jeana got this wonderful opportunity. If they are making you hang out in Moscow waiting for decisions I am happy you are doing something enjoyable and productive. You will always remember these things. And you will be able to tell Gabe that he made it possible for you :) I know - you would rather just have taken him home last week - me too, but making lemonade from lemons . . and all that.

  2. Wow I am so jealous, that is on my top 10 list of things I want to see.!!! I am so sorry the reason you are there is so difficult. We are praying and thinking of you guys often! Keep strong !