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 Article publié le 3 juillet 2011.

oOo

Ilinca was so happy, finally alone, far from the world, in the mountains, on Christmas’ Eve, forgetting about her job, her deskmates, forgetting about cars and tramways. Only the monastery and the snow that spread around it under the moonlight. Only her and the sky, her and the trees, her and the white of the snow. That’s all she always wanted to do : to fly, to laugh, to run alone in the night, through the snow that wounded her eyes with its glitter. Nowhere had she seen such bright colours thrown on the white snow which became purple, red, violet, sky blue, blue, azure, nocturnal white... This had happened many years ago, when she was a child, only then, on New Year’s Eve, at Christmas or in winter,she had that power of a babe of rejoicing of something so beautiful, so wonderful, so miraculous like the snow that hadn’t finished to flood her eyes, her face and soul with a joy without end. It was at that moment that she felt like a child, in the true meaning of the word. It was as if the world in which she lived made her grow old, as if she purely and simply grew old before the term and it was not the body which grew old, but the soul, it was a dangerous oldness. She was so near to the snow that, arrived in the forest, she wished to disappear in that white which couldn’t be anyelse than the purity of God when He created our world with all that it contains. She was near to shout exultantly, to laugh, but she couldn’t , because she didn’t want to trouble that wonderful silence, so she laughed in her soul of a virgin deeply fallen in love with the sky, the universe, the glory, the incomparable splendours, she laughed with the soul of a bride without bridegroom.

The snow dressed her and her soul with the white dress of an endless wedding, dress that she couldn’t take off , that she didn’t want to take off because she felt like being in a fantastic world. The sky was on the earth, it was Christmas’ Eve, something had happened inside her soul. This wonder of a day that she had expected to appear, to come so that she could live it, had changed her existence and now she had inside her that strength that didn’t let her suffer uselessly. The trees were her brothers and so was the sky that she wanted to touch with her hand, and the universe in which she wanted to fly. She saw some flowers that hadn’t had the time to bloom, they were completely frozen and she became sad because she felt like them, in her heart many feelings and ideas hadn’t had the time to bloom. The world in which she lived was so strange, people had relationships, but they hadn’t feelings anymore.

At that moment, she was in another world, fantastic, beautiful, it was the world of her dreams, and she wanted another miracle to happen to her, she wanted that she never should be sad, whatever may be her life, whatever may happen in this world. She wanted to have this commitement with herself that, however great may be her pain, she should remember the night lived then, before the great day of the universe, when something miraculous had happened, the axis of coordinates of this world had changed and we could think about the mankind from another perspective than that of death and selfdistroy. Beyond all that we think and live daily, the beauty of that moment had a sense, it alludes to something totally unique, to the purity that we can feel and live because we are eternal and because God wanted us to feel and to live it. Oh, how much she would wanted to understand this miracle of birth, of embodiement and , especially, the miracle of rebirth to a life, to an existence without limits, which is an inner one, hidden, mysterious, and only the whole silence of the world can hide or discover it.

Staying like this in the night, propped on the tree that couldn’t be anything more than the witness of what happened, of what will come and hasn’t yet been, she wanted to understand, to know, to feel more than she did, to be nearer to that unknown something hiding to us another sense of the world. She put her ear on the bark of the tree, she wanted to hear then, in that night when the stars and the moon were lightening candles that made the snow glitter in thousand colours, she wanted to hear something, to understand something miraculous, something wholly new in her life. Staying like this, the ear pressed to the bark of the tree she was cold because the bark was cold, then, she warmed herself being well enough, she heard something like a writhing, like a pulse or a throbing inside the trunk of the tree, something seemed to come up and wanted to spring in whirls and she heard and felt her heart beating strongly. She was under a violent emotion, she felt that something mysterious from this world passed through all things : tree, snow, day, night, sun or moon. She took the tree in her arms, the tree was as lonely as she was in that wood full of trees. She was living in a world full of people, but her loneliness was greater and greater every day. Why, for what reason ? She wanted to be like the tree that she had embraced, then she propped on it and let herself slip in the snow and stayed on her back to look at the sky of the night, at the moon and the stars that seemed to roll on it. All happened like in a dance, because all things tried to shine for That Who created them and made them so beautiful. In that Christmas night something miraculous happened, something that she couldn’t understand. The snow was so soft, but Ilinca was cold, she wanted to rise, she propped again on the trunk of the tree that waited for her so silently, to meditate near it and said to herself : "This is my higher form, in this form I can understand what is this miracle of the world that embraces in its infinite The One who created this world." Ilinca looked again at the sky and at the stars and it seemed to her that a star was greater than the others and nearer to her, it seemed that the star was drawing near to her, she felt like laughing of her illusion, she half opened her eyes to feel this illusion and, while she was playing with this mysterious light of the night, of the stars and of the snow, she suddenly heard a faint rustle. She shuddered and a thought made her tremble : "a man !" It was as if someone understood her secrets and entered roughly in her sanctuary, in her labyrinth, in what was precious and sacred to her, while she was thinking of what is difficult to understand or even incomprehensible in this world, she was thinking of His Birth, she was thinking of Him, who is so silent, so sad and so great, so.... she didn’t turn her head, she stood the face pressed on the bark of the tree, she wanted to be so small that she couldn’t be seen or felt and she heard that rustle again in that silence and then she heard it for the third time...

Ilinca looked forward without blinking and saw her... she had the head bent to her, little ears, slight legs and body and a nice fur, the deer loked at Ilinca and Ilinca looked at her, the two of them were equally scared, equally free...... equally free to receive and to look at the beauty of the forest which was the beauty of God. Ilinca couldn’t breathe anymore, she didn’t want to move lest she should scare the deer and this one could run away...some seconds elapsed during which Ilinca was afraid of moving, the deer turned her head to another direction, made a step, made a second one and then disappeared through the trees as quickly as she had come. Ilinca could breathe then and remained silent, her heart filled with joy and beauty.

She stood motionless without thinking at something, she simply wanted to be like the snow, like the traces left by the deer, like the tree on which she was propping, like the leaves that hadn’t fallen and were covered by snow... Ilinca wanted to run after the deer, to take with her the snow and the stars and all that was around her. She understood that the beauty of that moment could never been destroyed and, if the soul can contain this beauty and if Him, the Wholly Wonderful, came to live in this wonder of the creation, we have in us something so great and this greatness is eternal. She said :"Oh, My God, You are great !" , that’s what she felt like saying again and again, without stopping. But, because she had stayed such a long time under the snow that was falling in the night, she was seized by cold and, having in mind the words that she had repeated before, she went inside the monastery, being happy for having been struck by a meaning so great that it would feed her spirit all her life long. She knew that she could never forget such beauty. Her soul was flying and her body was floating over the snow to the monastery from which she had come. She entered the church dressed in wedding clothes for the vespers service had begun.

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