Two happy people dancing on the background of the temple

“The path leading to the temple, walking a respectable elderly man. Suddenly he stopped, jumped through the flower bed on the lawn and started up stunning PA. Hopped on one leg, slapped his sides, shrugged, whirled like a bear, in one place. Surely again in the nearby sanatorium the sick were brought?! The best men of corrupt mind several times tore us service…” From the book of the priest of Alexander Dyachenko “Sholei. Simple and complex stories about people”, published by the “Nike”.

Photo: Lyndsay Ford /

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Priest Alexander Dyachenko

The event I want to tell you happened many years ago. What was the year, not exactly say. May 2001 and may 2002. It is not essential. The only thing I remember clearly: it was early autumn it was still summer-warm, and through the rare dark clouds shone the joyous sun.

Not the first time I think how careless we are at the time. Live in its stream, reading in the memory of some events and when they happened — and remember. Maybe it’s because we, today, live a lot longer than contemporaries at least, Alexander Pushkin,…

And, by the way, Pushkin called by my name, although the poet lived only thirty-seven years, and today the gray-haired man with a substantial beer bellies tend to introduce themselves by name.

If someone reminds you that you’re no longer a boy, so it is only the traffic police inspector: “Well, Alexander, is broken? Not good…”

One day, while walking in the old cemetery of Grodno — the city where I spent my youth, I wandered to the site of the graves of the first half of the nineteenth century. Remember the strange monuments of that era — high cylinders black. Perhaps they installed the boxes, stylized amphorae and marble busts. Often monuments are not indicated as they are today, year of birth and year of death, and wrote simply: “Slave of God so-and-so, in this world lived for so many years.” Of anyone buried in that corner of the cemetery has not exceeded forty. And I have a feeling that the people of that era a lot more careful attitude to the time.

* * *

I well remember that autumn day, because that’s when my friend went on a small journey on his old jeep. The route was built on a pre-tested roads, why was a decent hook. But if you want you can take a chance and go to a strange primer, in this case, the distance is greatly reduced. The benefit we had though old, but still a true American vehicle.

How and where we were going, I do not remember. Got to the suburbs. Suburban towns, small and untidy, look alike, like identical twins, if and differ, only size. At some point, we pretty having strayed, have turned out in a tiny settlement with a intricate, is not amenable to remembering name.

What we saw there made us stop and get out of the car. On a small, surprisingly neat square gathered a lot of people. They listened as two dozen men and women in Russian folk costumes sang some old song. Some elegant couples were whirling in the dance familiar from childhood, many times seen on television.

Where are come from professional artists? They would look appropriate anywhere on the stage of the Kremlin Palace of congresses. But here? Strange place for a concert…

I walked behind the singers stood on the porch in front of the store and only then did I see standing on the other side of the square of the newlyweds. The groom I’m not particularly examined, and the bride remembered very well: a small growth, the thin dark girl in a white wedding dress. Such elegant dresses I have seen neither before, nor later. And all the time that I was watching her, she never smiled, remained focused, with the back, like a taut string…

The musicians began playing some slow tune, and the bride approached the middle-aged man. Perhaps, father, I thought, very much they were alike. He and the bride was all in white: white suit with bow tie, white hat and even boots white. He took the bride by the hand and led him in a smooth dance. He immediately formed a few pairs and spun to the music. A minute later, having danced for the whole area, including the elderly and children. Universal joy descended on us with a friend.

Don’t know how long the fun lasted, and how many would have continued even if not flown by a cloud. She shut him the sun, and shed a short heavy rain. All scattered, the band too, and only a man in a white coat, his head thrown back and widely having placed hands, smiled and continued to spin the square to the beat he’s the one driven melodies.

Hiding from the rain under the canopy of the store, I stood and looked at him. At some point, suddenly seemed to feel his despair through dance. But I have laughed at myself: the father gives his daughter in marriage, where is the tragedy? This same joy!

Next in puddles, jumped over several children. They pointed to the dancing of the man in white and laughed too. The rain stopped as suddenly as it began. All were invited to the table. Called us with a friend, we thanked him and refused.

— Strange people — when we got in the car, murmured my companion. — We really strangers, are invited to the wedding. Have you noticed the big bus? The artists came on it, most likely. Imagine how much it costs to hire a wedding such a team?

— Have you ever seen a man in evening dress, especially in white? Only in the movies, I guess. By the way, what town is that the name is not remember?

— Somehow did not pay attention. Look at the map.

But on the map I have looked, found nothing.

We walked back the other way, and the town is left behind. I was trying to remember the song you heard then, but never could. But the strange dance of a man in a white coat in the rain remembered for a long time.

Our family is also growing up the bride. A few years later I did marry her, and when the wedding fuss has reached its climax, I was suddenly covered the experiences of the upcoming separation from my child, so much so that in the throat immediately stood up salty lump…

But weeping at his daughter’s wedding father in his new, specially for the occasion sewed the costume looks ridiculous, and because you press a flood of feelings and keep on smiling…

And soon next to you there is a cute little creature. It is funny rolling from side to side, and holds you by the finger. You take him in his arms, and this man with your little finger touches your face and something is trying to tell you. Soon you each other will understand. Be sure to understand and be friends as sincere as I can be friends only children and the elderly.

* * *

…Recently in a Saturday morning children baptized. After returning from the baptismal chapel and paleobeaches, saw in the window: the path leading to the temple, walking a respectable elderly man. Suddenly he stopped, jumped through the flower bed on the lawn and started up stunning PA. Hopped on one leg, slapped his sides, shrugged, whirled like a bear, in one place.

My gut went cold.

— Zina — I beckoned to the window by the administrator. — Do you see what’s doing. Surely again in the nearby sanatorium the sick were brought?!

The best men of corrupt mind several times tore us service. Zina also watched in horror at what maketh a strange man.

And then — Oh joy! in our field of vision got a little girl two years old. It is the same as the old man, jumping, spinning, and in addition also laughed.

The child laughs! And all at once falls into place: the man is not insane, he’s just “crazy” grandfather who loves his little granddaughter. Two happy people dancing on the background of a huge white temple.

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