MY FIRST TEACHER
I was seven years old, and I had to go to study to the first class. The mother of the favourite boy, Praskoviya Pavlovna, Pole by nationality, was my first teacher in every sense. And at the same time - a savior.
My brother grew up and was aggressive, often offended me and chased with a stick or with a knife. I rushed out on the street and run to the house of the teacher, and she felt that something is wrong with me and ran out towards me, and I hid under her skirt. And there was warm and safe.
When a few years ago I arrived to my home, I met an eighty-year-old old woman, same lively and hardworking. I so wanted to give her my heart and to return that heat and love that she presented me with. I loved all that she did. Her house was a magic for me, and all that was in her house - sacred.
Some dahlias grew in front the garden of her house. Since then dahlias are my favourite flowers.
Once, maybe, about five years ago, I had a dream:
my teacher stood with whole bucket of dahlias and very much wanted to give me a flower. She got a very beautiful and fluffy dahlia from the bucket and only stretched it to my hand - as suddenly someone approached from my back. And I told:
“Give it to him!”
After the same situation repeated many times, and I thought to myself:
“What a pity - I won't have a flower!”
And here the teacher gets a very crumpled and ordinary-looking last dahlia and tells:
- “Here - your flower!”
I carefully take it in the hand, bear home and put in a bowl with water. And suddenly the water in the bowl turns into grains.
I think that these grains were seeded in my soul by Praskoviya Pavlovna's love and my secret love to her son, about which he did never find out. I was afraid to show him my love also because didn't want to burden my darling and didn't want to burden his life with such knowledge. Internally I understood that any declaration of love to other person, without knowledge of reciprocal love, burdens the soul of the one to whom you declare the feeling. From where the little girl had such knowledge?
And here I again see a dear face of the teacher. I worry and shyly approach her. So many years passed, I am a mature woman now, but, the same shyness and tenderness lives in my heart. We embraced, and she led me to the house in which I wasn't for about thirty years.
Carefully I step on the threshold of such familiar and magic court yard. The heart beat with excitement, the hands began to shake. Mentally I kneelt before this small lodge and kissed the feet of the teacher. But it was mentally. There no words about true love.
It was a thought: how many years I wandered around the world, how much I saw and realized, but finer than this quiet house and this old woman I didn't know.
My dear teacher, what can I give you, how to return that wealth with which you generously endowed me in the childhood?! And she with her purring and well trained voice speaks as sings:
- “Marusya, Marusya, you remember how your brother chased you. I always felt when you not well. You calmed down under my skirt as a chickabiddy.”
-“Of course, I remember.”
Tears flow on my cheeks, and I hide them and smile happy and in love with this wise woman who replaced to me the love of mother in the far childhood.
This house remained for me a Shrine. It is my Temple of Love, Hope and Believe.
Besides the son, Praskoviya Pavlovna had two daughters, they were much more senior than me, and I was crazy about them, such beautiful, kind and inaccessible they seemed to me. They always worked, and I, with pleasure, helped them.
For me to work near them was a huge honor, and I was ready indefinitely do any most hard work, for what I was strongly getting from the mother. She reproached me with piece of bread and said that I do everything for anyone while could work for own house.
She called me odd and a full fool. And the more strongly mother hammered into my head that the world is arranged so that everyone drags everything to himself - the more I protested against this truth and wanted to give and give.
And when I worked for someone I had a pleasure and a huge satisfaction, and it wasn't pleasant to me at all, and even disgusting to do something for myself. When I became an adult and lived in India, I learned that the second step of yoga - to receive a pleasure of work for the benefit of others. Really - someone invisible conducted me by the road of consciousness and self-improvement, it is clear as noonday, but back then I was trained on contradictions.
An anti-moralism of mother developed in me a pathological disgust for doing something and living for the benefit of myself. Noticing it the mother began to feel towards me some hatred's attacks. I became her enemy. And every day she, as looped, repeated aloud for hundred times that you can't trust anybody, all people - deceivers and skunk.
Life, she repeated, is a hen house, and everyone tries to fly as high as possible, to push off the neighbor and to shit on the lower ones. And I had to become cunning, to be able to twist everyone round one's little finger, to have in everything only own benefit and never tell truth to anybody.
She approached me, grabbed my hair and spoke with hatred:
“That's when you will become a human, and now you are a reptile, you understand?”
“Do you hear, fool?!”
Of course, I understood that the mother blow off her rage on me and all her directed to me words actually were about her. That's her who was not a human, but a creature. And seeing a human in me, she compared herself and me, and couldn't bare this comparison - not in her advantage. It was a black envy to her own daughter.
And she would tear my hair. I was silent and thought on the contrary. And then the mother flew into rage and dragged me by hair on the ground, and her eyes were empty and mad. I took down all the beating silently. And then something improbable would happen to her: her eyes suddenly flashed with a brutal fire, she'd grab a stick and beat me, enjoying and deriving pleasure from the beating. She was bitting me till semi-death, until was tired and spending the force. After she would dirty swear, spit and leave. But I wasn't afraid of beating any more. Her animal state was interesting to me.
I would go on a meadow or to the forest and there looked for some grass, ate it, and I was helped by grasses, birds, bugs. I lay, and they treated me. Some birds would lower to the earth near me, chirp and touch my bruises; bugs crept on me and treated. And I understood - this is an experiment which I can stop myself when I feel its end. The mother's desire of power over my soul was not satisfied, and she, by her deeds and thoughts, was making from me a hostage of her life, but I knew that I won't become her continuation and I won't give up.
From understanding that the mother tries to break my will, and the will only grows, I very quickly recovered. I was treated by love of the nature. Nature came to life, I heard its voice, then I would come back home, and the offense on the mother has passed very quickly. I was sorry for her that she beat me so violently for nothing.
And I tried to make something good for her in the house. Her heart for a while softened, and she would complain to me on the father, on her life, on people, to justify the beating.
Once she turned me out from home in winter barefooted in a light dress. I didn't begin to ask let me back home. I went into the cold frozen bath-house and there I spent the night, having covered with two switches of green birch twigs. I heard her coming out for several times and call me. I decided to freeze, but not to come back home. I was about 10. Interesting, but I fell asleep in the bath-house and, thanks to God, didn't freeze. I even didn't get frost-bitten though the frost was about mines 20.
And then I understood that never I will change my views, even if I will be killed, I won't swear, won't resist, but will hold my ground silently, I will cease to be afraid of beating and I will defend my views about the world.
It was a new war - ideological. Soon the mother nicknamed me Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, she was struck by my persistence and the will power.
And when, once again, she wanted to beat me and raised her hand with a stick, I looked at her silently and told softly to myself:
- “Beat! But your hand will wither now!”
And suddenly her hand powerlessly fell from my look, and she left muttering something under own nose. And her hand after that case began to hurt strongly. And her hand was always hurting afterwords, and the mother became really weak-willed, and her anger ceased forever.
Since then the mother ceased to swear and beat me, and I was given to myself and found full independence. But the mother declared to me that now she doesn't consider me as her daughter. And she was telling to everyone that she has no daughter, but a degenerate, that I have no feeling of gratitude. She gave birth to me, suffered, that if she knew I will be like that she would strangle me. And I internally ceased to consider her as my mother, and stretched to nature, people and children even more.
I began to consider as a mother my teacher and was spending almost all the time with small children of the village, went with them to the forest, and they gave me so much pleasure that I ceased to notice the cruelty of my home. I forgave easily everyone and didn't take offense. Residents of the village very much loved me and gladly entrusted me their children.
So there was a small kindergarten, a kingdom of children, and I was in this kingdom a fairy. Everything that I could present to the mother, I gave to the children.
When my favorite boy got married I was still a little girl. At first I felt a strange pain, and then I also fell in love with his wife. In the thoughts I connected them in a single whole, and my love trebled. Then they gave birth to children, I gave them a lot of time and love.
I remembered all this while Praskoviya Pavlovna cooked to me some food. And suddenly she says to me:
“Marusya, you remember my grandsons. They still talk you and say that they considered you as their bride”.
It's a pleasure to me. I didn't know anything about it.
She treats me with vegetables from the garden, gives a milk. And then conducts in the room and opens an album.
I see a photo of her young son, and suddenly feeling that I am pierced by a lightning!
My first love didn't disappear anywhere, it lives in the depths of my soul and still moves my world and therefore I live, breathe, rejoice, and cry on this earth.
Thank you, my dear people, my native ones, let the star of happiness and good luck always burn over your family.
I giving to you my world.