A part of the Trapp family property I wanted to make sure to see was the family graveyard where Maria von Trapp is buried. In her biography, she talks of her husband’s death and how he was buried on the family property. This is a custom not often followed any longer in America, but one that remembers the departed loved one in a rather tender way.
Though graveyards often have this overhanging feeling of gloom, this one was vibrant and celebratory of the lives lived.
The grounds of the entire Von Trapp property are well kept, but the graveyard held an added touch of love and care.
Maria and Georg’s graves beside one another
I also read of a stone chapel that one of Maria’s sons had promised to build for her. Built in 1950, the chapel was to honor World War II soldiers.
When I think of those unfailingly dedicated to their religious beliefs, Maria von Trapp immediately comes to mind. Having a place to worship wherever she went was a necessity. Her devotion to continually seeking out God’s will for her life continues to be an inspiration to me.
Without questioning the distance to the chapel, noting its location via a sign pointing into the woods, I pressed Hubby to go.
You know I am not a hiker. I have made that abundantly clear in many of my posts.
I respect the hiker. I respect their ability to connect with nature and to will their bodies into reaching incredible distances.
Still, I don’t think it is for me.
That said, any hiker or skier might have looked at that quite obvious black diamond next to the world ‘Chapel’ and realized it wasn’t going to be a light stroll.
I went blindly into the woods with the mindset of, ‘We’ll probably be there and back in ten minutes’.
Oh you foolish, foolish girl, you.
It was probably at the point of which I thought I would be there and back that I started commenting, ‘Gosh, this is a lot farther than I expected’, and ‘I really hope we’re going the right way’ and ‘I didn’t realize this was going to be a real hike!’.
The signs and clear path made us believe we were going in the right direction, but the distance continued to make us question our sanity.
There came a point where the path was no longer flat and comfortable as pictured above. The trail narrowed, the incline raised, and I decided it was time to document our faces should we never make it out alive.
Did I mention I was wearing flip flops?
There was one point where I saw a large pile of branches and rocks and swore that the chapel was right beyond the debris.
Yet from that point we still had another stretch of hill to conquer.
Though I may wish to have worn sneakers, gym pants, and oh, I don’t know, NOT a white tank top, the journey was worth it.
I took the word ‘chapel’ and built in my mind this massive structure with space for the entire family to come together and worship. I was met with a humble room that no more than four people might comfortably fit in. This was a place of true worship and submission to God. A place not built for others, but a place built for personal solace.
As I entered the chapel, I imagined Maria von Trapp making daily visits there. I wondered what cares she may have brought with her into the chapel and what kind of relief such a place provided.
There was something hypnotizing about this chapel in the woods. Something that despite my usual urge to run and hide from hiking activities, made me want to linger and drink in my surroundings.