One Ordinary Evening
By Petko Hinov
From the original Bulgarian essay: http://petkohinov.com/?p=1134
One ordinary evening. The rains showered, the clouds melted and of them remained only serenely-white tatters—now they drift away like the minutes of a clock and wipe away the last raindrops from the serenely-blue heaven.
Kathy fell asleep in my embrace. I took her outside—to let her breathe the cool air of the fields while sleeping.
Everything is melting outside—the evening is melting, the sunset is melting, the clouds are melting, the silence is melting, the birdsongs are melting. My life is melting and in this ceaseless, ever more obvious melting, I cherish the dearness of this moment.
This moment is dear to me, because I contemplate it from the future. I have returned back in time forty years. This sleeping two-year old child—it is I. The two old, not hewn then, plum-trees entwine their boughs and branches above my head, dense as a trellised vine. Beside me, on the bench, sits my great grandfather, his feet wrapped in grasses. My grandpa and grandma—so young,—are working just over this adobe-and-stone wall, and their voices are mingling with so many other voices—I know them all. They are all alive!
Then, too, the sunset is crimson. And the clouds are so white on the other side of the barn: as though they are the clouds on a Bulgarian Renaissance icon, painted by an unknown hand. And the sky is so blue, so full of humble hope—as though Christ was there a moment ago and had just melted in the skies high above.
I am carrying Kathy in my arms and in front of my eyes, coating after coating, melts the whitewash of time.
Everything is melting!
I am not carrying Kathy. Someone else is carrying me… Grandma… Grandpa… Someone, whom I did not know yet, being only two years old. Someone, in whose love I myself had been melting.
I listen to the rustle of the wide maize leaves in the sunset, I hearken to hear all those noises that come from my two-year-old childhood. And I hear only silence—whispering and melting silence.
It was as though it never was…
The voices of great grandpa, great grandma, grandpa and grandma, the voices of this village that was once full of life—they are all here. Someone is carrying me with love amidst the din of cattle-bells, bleating of goats, baaing of sheep and mooing of cows. The trees are many, so many. The earth smells not of rot. No snuffle of cars is coming from Sevlievo. The air is trembling with the buzzing of bees. Someone is singing an old forgotten village song. Suddenly the song melts amid hubbub… So many voices of children! Even now, when the sunset has melted and a cool evening is lying prone over the village.
Kathy woke up and all this world, motley with noises, sank into her wide opened eyes. Silence again, which sucked in all these ludicrous visions as a whirlpool. The tears of the sun are sparkling above the thirstily swelling, mellow maize-field. It has already melted above Pear Hill.
Everything is melting. Bulgaria is melting, too. This day is dying out forever.
Farewell, my ordinary and unrepeatable evening!
Bogatovo, 22 June 2015