As I listen to the cold, February winds bellowing outside my windows, ushering away a midwinter thaw, I am reminded of Varykino. To anyone who has worshipped the film Dr. Zhivago, as I have, the name will be familiar. To others, I can only describe Varykino as a winter icon, replete with romance, internal struggle, passion and melancholy - and lots and lots of glittery ice.

The film, which harnesses the impulse and energy of the Russian Revolution to illustrate the arch of romantic love is probably one of the best depictions of love on screen ever captured. Omar Sharif and Julie Christie play the starcrossed fugitives from different social realms who fall madly in love with one another after the revolutionary wave equalizes Russian society.
While the film has many poignant moments, none made such an impact on me as the couple's escape to Varykino - a vacation home once owned by the wealthy Zhivagos that now sits empty on a barren landscape of snow drifts and ice ponds. Terrified of capture, nursing injuries and yet still in a state of rapture, they hide away in the frozen home, making love, writing poetry and illuminating its ice-laden rooms with the dim flicker of candle light. When I first saw the film as a young adolescent, I yearned to wander through Varykino's frigid halls, where ice and crystal are indistinguishable. I occasionally escape there in my mind.



  1. Hello Andrew,

    I adore this movie and just the music theme brings me to tears...

    ~ Gabriela ~

  2. Absolutely, Gabriela! My father plays it so well on the piano!

  3. Thank you for the link today on facebook. My dread of the cold is now tempered. "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, So is good news from a far country." - Proverbs 25:25