The dawn of a better life

…I also loved to read the Holy Scriptures; and when, toward the end of the Old Testament, in its concluding chapters, I somehow had a sense of emptiness and peace, and the strict Romans were already present, a feeling of barely audible, barely noticeable, sweet expectation stirred within me. The dawn of a better life seemed to be awaiting the whole world. There was no light as yet, and one felt both sad and relieved. Then a poor child was born in Bethlehem….How good it is in these dry deserts, where only palm trees grow and people walk about barefoot in light robes! And already Peter was weeping in the night when the cock crowed, and I wept with him; all grew dark, the dead rose out of their graves and walked into town, the curtain in the temple was rent….Before me is a picture….Christ manifest himself for a minute to a couple of disciples, who were on their way to Emmaus. Some poor little town, this Emmaus; three smallish men are hurrying out of some valley, their robes blowing behind them; to one side are rocks, and in the distance looms an agglomeration of small houses with flat roofs. How deserted it all seems! As though after dinner when it is no longer hot, you might enter a large green garden which no one is using and where the shadows cast by the trees grow more and more elongated. As though the person closest to one had departed from the house and from this garden, in which he could have strolled had he wished. And something new was about to begin, was about to glimmer….But what was it? Even then I could not explain it, nor can I do so now.
Konstantin Leontiev


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