In the New World
When was that?
Sometimes it seems to me that all this has happened several minutes ago, even though long twenty years passed since these days. This is not a fairy tale - in any sense. This is a story of my life, its mysterious and unforgettable part, its guiding shining star. The beginning of my new journey in this world. If you would like - solar rebirth.
Our memory always keeps for us the most remembered and wondrous moment of life. And today, after almost twenty years, I still remember very clearly that brightest month. They, those days, clearly reveal before me - whenever I wish it, my memory repeats them for me in brightest details - each and every day from several dozens. Sometimes it even seems to me that some special sort of memory is holding these events … They remained in my heart - those days.
Now I am remembering those moments once again, and tears are sliding on my cheeks … These are tears of grief and joy, my friends. Each day and every hour is so clear …
* * *
“John, it’s time for you to go home!” - and worried mother appeared on a porch.
But the boy did not hear her - he was far away. They together with Jim and Laura - little girl from the same city quarter were lapping in the river. They were scooping with their childish palms handfuls of water and with all available for them power were throwing them into each other, pouring over with a sparkling water stream.
Here he grasped flowing water with both his hands and threw it directly into Jim, having poured all his face from top to the bottom. Then Jim, who was still throwing streams of water into laughing Laura, has somehow put a hand on water surface - and an instant later a whole water whirlwind has encircled him. A water shield has risen around Jim. He himself was turning in a water and beating it with hands - and streams flied in different directions from him, touching both the right (whom a Laura can be considered by right - for after all it was not she who have begun this attack on him!) ones, as well as guilty ones - meaning John, who had imprudence to pour over this water champion Jim and was not, being poured by uninterrupted water streams, have already felt sorrow for such a precipitate state.
However this new water barrier and flying water streams, have, apparently, inspired all of them only more - they were laughing and pouring each other, no longer closing faces with hands from water streams, rushing in every direction by totally unpredictable trajectories, being sent by this or that party. Gradually he together with Laura, who have come to the rescue against this Loch Ness monster Jim, began to push him more and more to a coast - streams were beating in a face, he couldn’t see Jim clearly any longer, but kept fighting. But Jim did not retreat as well - now he had time to throw water in Laura as well, and she have got no less pressure than John.
They were fighting and battling together with each other, and ringing childish laughter filled space and unrolled with waves around the place. They had lots of fun that day. Jim was finally pushed into a coast - and they together with Laura by the right of full winners poured him without future resistance from his side.
Then they chased one after another in a water, much like jambs of blood-thirsty sharks, as the very same Jim has noticed. Those who have been caught up were seized in water for heels a dragged on a coast. Most easier it was to catch Laura - after they managed to seize her by heels in water, she obediently went to a coast and waited there while they were chasing one after another. Then, laughing, she swimmed to them - and this time was chasing them, already fairly tired from pursuit of one after another, and almost every time in that she prevailed. Well, certainly, they gave in to her.
Then there were wood walks and singing of birds in branches of trees. It was morning and they, having taken seat on wood logs, were listening to bird’s trill as if being charmed.
“Our wood brothers know how to praise light”, - I still clearly remember this phrase of Laura.
There were their joint hide-and-seek games in wood windbreaks and plentiful high bushes, growing there. There were descents from frosty ice slopes and snow games. There were falling in deep snowdrifts and friendly laughter of friends, standing nearby. There was a joy of experiencing of such enormous and wonderful world, opened before them.
They - these three - were only entering this life as children. They have been living like them from then on.
They… They - three. Now he is the only one left.
It was like a blow. No - it was much more terrible.
As though one thousand of flaming hammers have fallen upon you and pressed down so strongly that you couldn’t even breath … As though some deep abyss is sucking you inside and you are unable to do anything … As though some invisible force is breaking and cutting you in pieces … As if you have ceased to live any longer …
And still it was nevertheless - that particular day. Ten years ago - yes, then he learned that finest friends of his childhood and youth, who have given him so much - Jim and Laura … - both of them have died. Both have left this world and he remained in it without them. “Without them. Without them. Alone. Alone. Alone”, - his consciousness was beating its rhythm like a hammer. “Without … them”, - echoing in consciousness words have finally merged into a pure excuse of a phrase - and he has fainted, having fallen to a suddenly approached ground.
He came to his senses afterwards, though not immediately. For almost a year he has been coming to senses. This was indeed a great loss - a loss of, perhaps, the most valuable gift given by life to him. But he has endured it. Has consulted because he had to. And because a heart - his heart which has never before cheated him, has perseveringly and constantly from that day of this loss whispering to him that this separation is not eternal. That they, three ones will meet again under the sun of another world, will meet once his path here is finished and debt is fulfilled.
But all this was later, many years before. And then they were bright children - and nothing and no one saddened their festival of life.
* * *
It seemed that this day was the most common afternoon, which happens exactly three hundred sixty five times during a year for a detached onlooker. But it might seem to someone other - yet not to him. Not to him.
A ghost or a man? At first I thought that I’ve encountered a true ghost, when he carefully approached my home and greeted me. As if having appeared from nowhere …
I welcomed him, having sharply put my right palm to a head and then releasing it - for unknown to me reason men in military uniform often made this gesture, and so I have decided to try it out as well.
“Warrior”, - said stranger and smiled. “A true warrior will once come out of you”, - he added. He started talking. Asked me of my district and inquired if he can live somewhere here for sometime till “it will be time for him to move on” - it seemed he expressed that way.
We - I together with Laura, who have come running to my house just by that time to invite me and Jim on Saturday picnic, which her parents were going to arrange - both have actively joined the conversation with a stranger, eagerly rivalry chattering and interrupting each other to give that man as much information as possible on why, for example, he is will be glad to stop in the house of aunt Zhanetta and don’t need to even dare thinking of stopping in the “Night Rider” tavern. So we learned that ghost is called Richard. “Richard”, - said the ghost, - “one of my favourite names”.
When we finally finished our explanations and both stopped, having become fairly tired from such verbal outburst, he smiled and inquired whether he could stay in my house for a while.
“And why don’t you want to stop at aunt Zhannetta?” - Laura outstripped me with question and looked at the stranger with inquiring and interested look. Richard-ghost moved his eyes to a left-upper corner - as if reflecting on something. Then has somehow taken hands aside, having exposed his palms up as if asking someone unknown for help - so it continued for about ten seconds. Then he stirred up his head and once again has looked as us with a radiant look - till now I remember that wonderful sparkling of his eyes! - and has started talking once more.
- Decided to check one more time if I should stay where you have offered me at first. It will not be the best choice. I should stay for some time close to you for now.
We, of course, started asking him one after another of why he should stay exactly with us as how he has learned of that, and he replied: “You will learn everything in due time. When you will grow up, you shall understand. Warriors”, - he added and smiled. “Be not afraid, John, be not afraid, Laura. I will not cause you any harm. Warriors of good battle together - shoulder to a shoulder - and no against each other”.
But … I didn’t tell him my name! And neither did Laura! How could he possible know them? Judging by Laura’s face I have seen that she is a bit confused as well. “But how did you…”, - she started asking - and suddenly changed her mind, without finishing her phrase.
The stranger turned to face her and smiled.
- You want to ask yours and John’s names? No, I didn’t inquire people about you for that I have no need. You will receive the answer to that question as well, having grown up. Many things will open before you then.
He has told nothing more on that question and we haven’t interrogated him as well.
“As I understand, a consent of your parents is necessary for me to live together with you?” - and looked at us. “Well, certainly”, - he added again after five or ten seconds. “I will adequately pay for my accommodation and will not disturb you I my everyday life. However, if you”, - and he looked at me and Laura - “will ever need my help - you can always address me while I am staying with you. I will be around here for about a month, and then I will have to move on for my path calls for me. Ask your parents and decide together whether will you accept me - and who from your parents may welcome me. I will come tomorrow afternoon. Good luck to you, warriors”, - and, having this said, he has fitfully got up, waved his hand, parting, and suddenly disappeared behind a horizon almost as fast and mysteriously as he has come, having left us both in feeling of bewilderment and at the same time in sensation of some bright joy and presentiments of upcoming happiness.
At least I was left with such a feeling - but Laura, seemingly, as well.
- So, what are we supposed to do now? Did this man seemed … strange to you? - and Laura lift her eyes, studying me.
- Strange? Yeah, that’s true … he is strange … but still I trust him for some reason. Don’t know why. I trust him a believe in his motives - I replied.
- And so did I. I just wanted to know what do you feel. However, I don’t think that my parents will allow him to live with us - too watchfully do they concern strangers, even to … such as … - and Laura sighted. - But your will most certainly allow it! After all your family is short of money now and they will use this upcoming possibility.
- Yes, mine will likely welcome his offer. He will stay together with us … with us … for a month - I said. One month … “Why for so short, just a month?!” - word have suddenly escaped my lips and I hastily covered my mouth with a hand. What are these thoughts? Strange.
- Well, fine. I will come tomorrow evening and you shall tell me about him then. He is so mysterious … - Laura has favored me with her graceful smile, stood up from her place, has given up a lost farewell - much like that stranger - and has run to her house. Her silhouette was gradually thawing, as if concealing itself in this morning haze - and soon totally disappeared from sight.
“It means, tomorrow. It means, month. Well, let it be so then”, - don’t even remember from where did these thoughts came up to me, but there was some extraordinary force and internal consent inside them.
My parents indeed allowed this stranger to live with us. So has begun that wonderful and unforgettable month of my live, which has remained in my heart, remained - forever.
* * *
He was full of surprises and riddles, that Richard, and was extremely kind as well - and so we together with Laura, Jim (we couldn’t conceal such an event from him, and he too started visiting me in my home to meet time and again) soon all three have fallen in love with him. Even now I can still remember our conversations with him, his brightly shining solar eyes and quiet and filled with internal might voice…
“Are you asking me of where have I come from? From a world - worlds. There are myriads of unique magnificent worlds out there. Your life lies in the endlessness. It’s only necessary to move forward to understanding and beauty. And this world of yours - you can transform it into a blossoming garden as well. You hear me? You can! It’s all in your powers …”
“Now you are living the life of a child, you notice and see a lot of things - those which the majority of adults have already ceased to notice - lots of fine things. You are living in a live world. Each day is truly new for you, and wonderful as well. This is true and fair, a fine perception of life. Others have to study such perception. Those who have forgotten that such a sensation is possible - they have to be reminded of that. Your joy of life and love - your and one of your friends - it’s as though a key to a world. It will open all gates before you, it will lead you over abysses and give magnificent wings for a flight”.
“Yes, indeed a joy is promised to mankind. People could live in joy if not have made themselves enter a circle of sufferings. I do not know of why they have made this choice - but many nevertheless have made it. What sort of joy am I talking about? But you must have already experienced it! When you together with your friends were playing and frolicking - that was a joy of exploring the world. When you study surrounding world with interest - it’s a joy of learning the world. You receive joy of working as well. When you are in love and are giving your love to your neighbors - it’s a joy and delight of love and giving it back. It’s strange that some have lost this wonderful thread - but it means that they have to find it once again. Heart of theirs must they melt first! People passionately wish to be happy - and do nothing to make that happen. For some of them every day is like a monotonous foggy image and their life also happens to be full of mist. But it’s easy to lose the way and clue in a fog, therefore it’s necessary for a heart to shine with love and joy - and then no fog imaginable will cover this ardent heart!
“The one who is moving will reach once - I know, you have already heart these words - and they are true. It’s impossible to sit in one place, in the 100-th time raking up piles of own prejudices and unnecessary and insalubrious habits. One has to move on, to be inspired! The inspiration is necessary for men - but many believe that it comes only in some extraordinary cases. But it’s always near us - only to stretch a hand. Only to start working with kind thoughts in mind - and inspiration will always be your faithful devoted companion on a life’s journey”.
“How have I learned your name? And how animals feel fear? How people feel other’s gaze? How the atmosphere of a home in which they are staying can be felt? Certainly, not all possess such sensitivity - but they themselves close own way with prejudices. But even those who possess, usually consider this sensation as sort of artificial self-suggestion. Extremely accurately and clearly feel some - and still do not trust themselves! Wave them away, refuse, while they could study these phenomena. But with such a difficulty do men accept everything that lift their nature and their self-understanding, therefore for many indications of eyewitnesses are not enough - they judge of things in the world based on their own being. But your science can prove that - and it must finally pay attention to these aspects. Your science has already studied many laws of physical world - but now the time has come to study laws spiritual one. Actually, you have been told of them so long ago - many centuries before, yet they remained the diploma on paper for many, which they respect, yet not follow”.
“What are these laws? And what have you been told? Love your neighbor, learn to find pleasure in any work, learn to be courageous, bring light into the world. Simple words. Great sense and wisdom - and knowledge as well. But how many people remember of that everyday and live like that?”
“Who am I? After all the first time I have come to you, you must probably have considered me as some sort of ghost, right? But as you can see, I am live person as well as you. I am simply speaking of something of which many of you are still unaware. For those who remembered once but have forgotten - I remind”.
“Why should I leave you soon? Because my way calls for me I will have to go. There is much to be made yet”.
Such conversations we used to have in evenings. I, Jim and Laura - all of us gathered together before a house fireplace and like bewitched ones were listening to him. Probably due to a simple reason that he was telling the truth?
* * *
I clearly remember one day when heart of mine was beating uneasily. I couldn’t find peace inside me as if something sad was going to happen. I was going by our street when has noticed Laura and three adult guys who have surrounded her. Then he words and crying reached my ears - “Please, I beg you, stop it!” With all my powers I ran forward. Wind was beating me in face and picture was gradually opening before the eyes - three guys have surrounded her, one was holding her by hair and two others were tearing her clothes apart. They were doing that and were not afraid at all. No one, nobody from rare passers-by tried to interfere, even though together they could stop this violence.
Still running I have snatched one of them and tumbled down - began threshing with fists without looking. The desire to protect Laura was burning so brightly in my breast that I didn’t feel pain when two other guys abandoned crying Laura and have seized me instead. I felt no pain when one of them took me by my hair and another by a jacket so that I couldn’t move any longer. I felt no pain when they started beating me in my breast. I felt no pain when has fallen to the ground and they began kicking me with feet. I felt no pain by that time. The pain has come later.
A small stream of blood was flowing from injured nose and lips, leaving a viscous red trace on a sidewalk. Three guys were guffawing and undressing crying and begging them not to do it girl - begging in vain. I don’t remember how much time has passed - I ceased to remember. But the subsequent events I remember extremely clearly still.
“You shall now leave her alone and move away while you still can. Immediately!” - painfully familiar and now already cold as steel voice ringed in air.
Hardly moving my head I still managed to turn it and have seen standing nearby me Richard. Not like that, totally different was his voice when he was talking with us - now it was somewhat rigid and filled with great inner force at the same time. I badly remember those instants - my eyes were dimmed by some red fog - but still remember some things nevertheless … Hearing his words those guys have come off the crying and groaning Laura and turned to face Richard.
“Now!” - repeated Richard and made several more steps towards them.
“Oh yeah! Who’s the fucking shit are you?!” - one of them shouted in response - but there was no more that defiant impudence and self-confidence that was before.
“I said now! There will be no repeats here. You can back off, I will not touch you - you have yourselves created not the best consequences by that act. But now you will be cleaned away!”
“You try to expel us, goat!” - already obviously defying, the very same guy shouted.
Then Richard stepped forward, sharply raised his right hand up - during that instant as if some fiery blade sparkled in his hand - or, perhaps, my grown turbid consciousness has already started to dement me? - an he exposed his hand forward.
“Why the heck are you afraid of him? There are three of us, and he’s alone!” - the very same ringleader cried out and, probably having decided to set an example for his allies, sharply rushed towards Richard, exposing his fists forward.
He bashed at Richard with all his force - such a pressure should simply tumble Richard down on the ground. It seemed to me that during that instant of their collision something has flashed around Richard … anyway, I clearly saw how the tyrant who has bashed him as if hit a stone wall instead. He simply ran into him and was knocked away - and Richard has not moved at all, totally not stirred. Not a single iota. The tyrant instead felt to the ground, moaned and then went silent. Two other guys, already being frightened by his appearing, have abandoned Laura and started running away with all possible haste. They were not pursued.
I do not remember what has followed. I regained consciousness being already at home - and pain wasn’t felt any longer. I stood up and soon found Richard. He was silently sitting at a fireplace - it seemed that he was dozing, his eyes were close. I didn’t disturb him, and went to look for Laura instead. I found her in the next room lying on a bed, sleeping. Her wounds were tied up and there were not, not torn, clothes on her. It seemed that sleep overcome me once again after that. When I woke up again, both Laura and Richard were unsleeping. They were sitting near by bed.
“Ah, woken up”, - said Richard and smiled. “Rise up, warrior. Your wounds have been healed and you are ready to stand in line once again. You will have to do it before the upcoming era of trials”.
“I … I feel no more pain … totally. How could I recover so quickly?”
“Yes, and Laura feels no pain any longer. The pain has gone. I have cured you, though it was not an easy task - however I have already rested for now”.
“But how did you …?” - Laura started asking him, but Richard raised his hand as if calling for silence, and said - “Questions will go after, but for now you have to rest. Take a rest, warriors with lion hearts” - and he left a room.
* * *
Then there were our talks with him once again. There were even more many joyful days. These were unforgettable days. Probably, the best ones in our lives.
And then he left us - and we remained alone. In the next morning he got up and told me that today it’s time for him to go.
“Where to?” - I asked.
“The way I have chosen”, - were his words.
I began crying. I started crying when he told that he is leaving us.
He smiled and said: “Don’t cry, we are not parting ways forever. Perhaps, we shall meet again one day. Farewell, warrior, and do remember of the days of upcoming trials!” - he once again habitually waved his hand and sent his steps into a new revealing way.
We were standing shoulder to a shoulder - I, John, Jim and Laura. I watched him with sad and full of hope look. Laura hang down her head. “Farewell”, - she whispered quietly. “He will return”, - said Jim. “We will meet him once again”.
* * *
I regained consciousness from memoirs.
As clearly as now I still remember that wonderful month - and the next years of my life, accompanying it. I have never met this man again. Sometimes I even start to doubt - whether he is a human? Who is he? Wiseman? Prophet? Simply a person, according to his words, who have come to this world to remind people of their duty and show a bright path?
I have no idea. But I certainly know the one thing - his word have given me life. He has shown me a wonderful world in which we, we, people! - can live. If we desire it and choose it, if we will not be sitting idly, swimming in swamps of own prejudices, but move forward instead. If we shall truly love. If we shall rejoice life.
Yes, yes, yes! He has shown me a new world - the world of Life. He has pointed to surprising new possibilities available for a man. Whether we will desire to live in the light? It’s up to each person. I cannot make that choice for everyone. Everyone sooner or later, but inevitably - will make his own choice. But I have already made my own, and so I do answer to a fine - yes!
I answer to beauty - yes!
I answer to love - yes!
I answer to joy - yes!
And to the New World I do answer - yes!