Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Today in a small bakery an old woman, dressed in very shabby clothes, took out with quivering, frozen hands an old wallet where you could see a few small banknotes and several small coins. She took out from a hidden pocket a few coins. She counted them carefully for a few times. With the same quivering hands, wrinkled after so many years of labor, sacrifices, pains, hardships, tears, diseases and very few joys.
She asked for two loaves of bread. She wanted to pay for them but the shop-girl told her that Saint Nicholas has just passed by leaving bread for all the old men for a while. The old woman stared at her but she added quickly, straightening her back and uttering clearly:
“Thank you, my dear, but I have money for a loaf of bread.” She spoke with great dignity.
The shop-girl insisted, saying that a young man has passed by and left money for all the old men who were to come to buy bread on that day, in the remembrance of his grandmother.
“Thank you, then.”
“Be it welcome!” The shop-girl smiled.
The old woman furtively wiped a tear and got out with her heart warmed by the daily bread received as a gift for the remembrance of the reposed ones who didn’t depart.
While I was buying my own bread I saw a hurried young man who looked like a top model, just descended from the catwalk. Tall, handsome, elegantly dressed, with a smile which could melt the entire Antarctica, bent over the counter spreading an irresistible perfume and gave a banknote to the shop-girl.
“For tomorrow.” “With all my hugs and kisses, I love you.” “May God help us!”
The shop-girl watched him leaving in a hurry, getting back in his fancy car. She didn’t see me anymore, she didn’t hear me, she remained lost, melted, with a broad smile on her face, she swiftly made the sign of the cross and whispered: “May God keep him in good health!”
The small bakery was suddenly bathed in soft light and warmth, despite the winter from outside.
This is my Romania!
With all my hugs and kisses, I love you, May God help us!