Candle Wax


It felt light inside the church. You stood there and listened to the mass and all the singing. The candles were lit. Women had their hair done and wore elegant summer dresses, probably for the first time this year. The kids were dolled up and pretty. All of them holding decorated Easter candles.

The church walls were covered with mostly blue mosaic and the sunlight reflected in its golden details. Festive. This was all you could feel; Light and festive. Through the singing your body became peaceful. You wanted to breathe this blue air inside of you and make you light.

“May I have the willpower… the willpower to follow the sports diet; the willpower to never have fear and fight well; the willpower to pull my company through; to make it all work; …to be honest with myself; and more… not to destroy others. May I have the willpower not to destroy the ones I love.”

To keep the love inside and keep walking. Candles, flowers, people.

My son was playing with his friend, blowing out and lighting his candle. His new dark blue pants were covered with candle wax. He saw me looking at his pants and said “oops”. I smiled, put my hand in his hair, caressed him gently and told him not to worry about the pants, we will wash them. He smiled back. With a funny laughing smile that only a six-year old has.

The mass was finishing and I looked at the white candle in my hands. Its flame was steady and reassuring. And then after the candlelight there were people, kids, my children, the flowers, the rest of the church. The voices. It was probably noisy at the church, but all I remember is silence. As if we all stood there in silence, looking at the blue mosaic and thinking about ourselves and feeling light. This and caressing my son’s hair.

And then we made a line and the priest gave each of us a bright red Easter egg and candy bags to the kids. And we went into the sunlight and stood on the green grass. And the kids run around with the unleashed happinesses. Skirts, and dresses, and white shirts and small golden crosses. And I knew I waited for this day to feel exactly this. The lightness…

I thought that you have to be brave to feel the lightness.

Our friends came out and we went to our cars and drove to their house. There the meat was roasting, the tables were set, the wine bottles were open and the music was playing. We ate and drunk till late evening. We talked about summer that was coming and where we all were going. The kids run around and wanted to dance. I wanted to dance too. The old Greek woman approached me and pointing at my son’s pants asked me if I knew how to get those candle wax spots out. And I said I did not. And she told me to iron those with a tissue in between and the tissue will suck all the wax out of the pants. And I thanked her. And we filled our glasses and said Christos Anesti.


The Easter Egg

Easter Egg

It happened a year ago. It was spring and we were boarding an airplane in Trondheim.

“Bzem-bzem!” cried my two-year-old son, as we were the first in line to enter the aircraft. Bzem-bzem was his little Easter egg. He kept carrying it with him everywhere. He got it earlier that spring from his grandmother. When the Easter box from Russia arrived, it was full of nicely wrapped chocolates, stuffed bunnies and small toys. In the midst of that newly arrived Easter brightness my son saw a little wooden egg carefully wrapped in the soft tissue paper. He picked the egg and ran away, holding it tightly in his little hand. He did not know how to talk then, and he called it “bzem-bzem”, as the sound resembled the one that an egg makes when you brake it over the edge of a bowl. In the following weeks he did not let his Easter egg alone, not for a second. He ate with it, slept with it, took it with him on our walks and played with it. The egg lost its original shiny colors and a blue silk bow it came with. It became used to the little hands, little pockets and little boxes, where my son would put it. It received a lot of little kisses at night.

And now we have lost it. We were standing the first in the line to board our plane to Amsterdam, and my son cried “bzem-bzem!” and right away I got this hollow feeling of having lost something. He was playing with it at the airport cafeteria before we checked in, he must have left it there.

I asked the flight attendant, who was about to let us in to the plane, if I would have time to go to the cafeteria with my son to look for his toy. No, we did not have enough time. The plane was leaving in ten minutes and we were boarding. She was very sorry, she asked what kind of a toy it was.

“It is a small wooden egg, with its paint almost off. Not bigger than a real egg,” I told the lady in blue. I also told it to myself, to make sure I understand that it would be impossible to recover it.

“Where did he left it?”

“I think in the cafeteria before the check-in. Or may be in the play corner right after the check-in,” there were about forty tables in that cafeteria, full of people and carts and food. I handed our boarding passes to the lady and we walked to the plane.

We both liked flying. We looked through the small window at the people entering the plane, at the cars servicing other airplanes, and at the airport workers in their bright security vests. It was windy. The bluish mountains on the background and the wind. It was cold in Trondheim in May.

After a ten minutes delay the craft’s door was closed and the motors started to roar. The plane set into motion right away.

“I believe this is yours?” the flight attendant approached my son and handed him his Easter egg. “We called the cafeteria and they were able to find it. They sent a person directly to the plane to make sure it flies with you,” and she smiled at my son. I thanked her.

I pressed myself a little bit harder into the seat to keep calm. Somebody out there cared so much about something so small and unimportant. The painful seconds of silence, and a smile. I thanked the flight attendant again. The plane took off. My son was looking at the houses and cars, as those were becoming smaller and smaller under us. Then the mountains became small too. His little fingers holding tightly his wooden bzem-bzem.