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Today Sunday, 21 January, 2018
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August 19, 2016
Nadia Tretikov
Mary
Mary stood still in full darkness, trying to understand what just happened. All of a sudden, an arch appeared in front of her, covered with garlands of beautiful flowers. It was hard to imagine how they could so flawlessly be arranged on it. Charmed, Mary went closer and the scents filled her lungs, intoxicated her heart.
Carefully, she stepped inside the arch and in that instant found herself in a tunnel, on both sides of which, through a milky-cloudy haze were outlined the contours of closed doors. Mary held off, hesitating—which one of them? Her attention fell on the empty far corner of the wall, and her arm involuntarily stretched forward.
Bedazzling her with unusually bright light, the door burst open. An unexplained feeling of joy and happiness swept over her. Straight to her feet were falling streams of a cascading waterfall, and she instantly wanted to plunge herself into it. Scooping a handful of water, Mary splashed it onto her face, again and again.
The water was crystal clear and cool. Mary placed herself in the soothing stream of cleansing beauty. Her body luxuriated and freshened. After splashing to her heart’s content, the girl exposed her body to the warmth of the sun and with unusual lightness climbed up and seated herself on a rocky ledge by the waterfall. The sun was greeting her.
Delighted, Mary stood up and headed to the riverside, softly making her way through silky grass. Soon, she was in an orchard full of unusual, colourful fruits.
Even without tasting them, she already felt their life-giving strength. She stood on tiptoe and gently lifted an apple. It easily came away in her hand, honey-gold and deliciously flavourful. She had eaten one of these before, but where? Of course, in her childhood, in her grandfather’s orchard! In a couple of minutes there were only a few seeds left in her hand, which were immediately picked up by birds coming in from behind her back. The birds were not afraid of her—everything existed as one whole world.
The girl wanted to try one more unusual fruit that attracted her with its bright appearance. The taste was absolutely exceptional: soft, jelly-like, slightly reminding her of the flavour of wild raspberry and strawberry. Holding it in her hands, she was slurping up the sweet, juicy flesh. “Heavenly!” thought Mary, but then: “Where am I?”
She wanted to stay in this wondrous garden, filled with birdsong and cool shade. At that instant, next to her, under a grand apple tree, she saw a large wicker chair. Mary sat comfortably in the chair, closed her eyes and took a deep, restful breath.
The light breeze carefully touched her lips, cheeks, eyes, as if trying to grasp her features. Picking up her hair, it blew it around, messed it up, softly placed it back down on her shoulders and joyfully it whirled around. It was a dance of love—gracious and slightly naughty, caressing and provocative.
Mary never felt anything like that. She was dashing to the tops of the trees, flying up to the clouds, dropping down like lightning onto rippling waters, swirling in the vortex of wild dance, rejoicing and triumphing, winning and loving, liberating and celebrating. She wanted it to never end, but she knew that was impossible.
All of a sudden the wind was still, then, shooting past again, beckoned her to follow. Reluctantly, Mary stood up, confused, and took a step. She passed a green meadow, crossed a rushing stream and bending down, made her way through a thicket of shrubs and quickly climbed to the top of a hill.
The scenery was breathtaking. She was standing on the edge of a cliff. In front of her, there lay the universe, immense and incomprehensible and mysterious!
She saw stars and planets and moons. And among them, very small, she saw the Earth. The wind pushed her slightly forward.
Down there, there was that beautiful arch covered with garlands of flowers and the door that she had once seen in her dreams. The door leading her home! Mary paused, trying to remember forever everything she saw.
The Earth was waiting for her with the freshness of morning, the chirping of birds, the clear stream of water and the rainbow, with scarlet-red sunset, and necessarily, absolutely necessarily, with that gentle and tender breeze…

Literary Connection Volume I, 2014

www.nadiatretikov.com
 
 
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