20. With open eyes
It had snowed all day. Flake about flake had fallen from the sky and had settled down, on the streets and benches and roofs and gables. The people went over it and left their mark. There were many during the day. Carelessly they trampled over. There was no other way. But this did not disturb the flakes, which fell incessantly. Then the traces became less and the flakes began to cover them, until only they were. Nothing more reminded of the passing. Lilith stood at the window, while Rebekka, Samuel and Ruben sat at the table, eagerly discussing. Lilith stood by the window while she knew the presence of the others, even when her gaze had caught in the white splendor and glitter. It is good to know. It is good.
“And then I also had childcare today,” Rebekka muttered, “Finally, half a day free, and what do I have to do? I have to take care of the little one.”
“But that cannot be so bad, he’s only five. What can be a big deal?”, Samuel asked.
“You can see that you have no idea at all!” Rebekka snapped at Samuel, “But from where you should, you have no siblings. You are the prince.”
“That was a good joke,” Samuel replied with a crooked smile, “Prince. ! I would have liked to have siblings, but that was probably nothing.”
“You say that because you do not have any, and there is no danger that you will get some,” Rebekka insisted. “But if you think you would like siblings, I’ll give you my brother for an afternoon . Then you know what I am talking about.”
“Yes, but what is really so exhausting?” asked Ruben, who was only sitting next to him and listening. He had also tried to remember how it was when his children were so small, but he found no pictures in his head. It was as if he had not experienced this time. And if he was really honest with himself, he had to confess, that he had not actually experienced it. Too much he had been busy with his own life, with all that was more important. What had remained of it, of this important thing, which alienated him from his children, or did not really make them even close. It was like this. He could not change it. Nevertheless, it was a mystery to him how to omit the most obvious. Many things were similar to him, but even if one knew the mistakes of the others exactly, it did not prevent them from doing the same.
“He does not give a minute’s rest,” Rebekka said, “Not a single minute. Unbelievable, what is in such a small guy of energy. Like a little monkey, constantly moving, but that is not even the worst. What is really troublesome is his constant questioning. He must know everything. “Why?”, No matter what I say, what I tell him, he always asks, why? “, And this in the simplest, most every day, most understandable things. It cannot be sustained. “
“But it’s nice if children ask questions, if they want to know what’s going on in the world,” Samuel said, as if he were really convinced of what he said.
“Then tell me why the snow is white and why the water runs down and not up and why the sky is blue and what do I know what else …”, Rebekka answered slowly.
“That means it’s really annoying you just because you cannot give an answer,” Samuel snapped.
“Of course, I know an answer, after all, I’ve watched from time to time at school, but he is often not satisfied with my answers, and then he asks further and further, for the whole afternoon”, explained Rebekka.
“Why is the snow glistening?” Lilith said. All eyes turned to her, as if they had forgotten that she was there, so quiet had she behaved. And perhaps she was not really there, so sunk in the sparkle and glitter of the flakes in front of the window. Who knows how to say exactly to what extent a person is there? His mere presence does not say anything about it.
“Now you’re not even starting!” Rebekka said angrily, “Now I have just escaped the question at home, and now it’s going to go on like this?” Lilith looked at Rebekka urgently.
“It is also not a question, not a right or wrong, not a scientific precision. It’s not about explaining something chemical or physical or ontological, “Lilith replied thoughtfully.
“What’s that nonsense now,” Rebekka said, unmoved. “When you ask questions, you do so to get an answer, one that is true. Even a five-year-old knows that. “
“Yes, maybe, but not in the first place,” Lilith said impassively. “It’s all about pointing it out. Look, and marvel at what you have long since forgotten. And is not it wonderful how the light in the snow crystals breaks? Is not it amazing that you can rely on the water running down? Is not it impressive that the sky is blue? When did you think this was the last time? When did you go through the world with your eyes open for the last time, and have seen all the little miracles that surround us with all implicitness, with so much implicitness that we do not even notice that it is marvelous?”
“But you cannot be serious now,” Rebekka’s irritated reply came. “If I were to be amazed at all, then I could do nothing more. Then I would be incapable of life. If you see it for the first time, it may still be, but not always. It must be quite bland. “
“That’s not what I wanted to say,” Lilith said slowly, realizing that if you wanted to be understood, you could not answer too quickly, “But we live and go, forgetting all that to be astonished at everything, but at times to stop and to see the sparkle in the snow and make it work. Now and then pause and find the amazement that we leave with the children’s days. Once again see the world as a child. That would be the message, and that is probably what all the questions of your brother should have pointed out to you. “
And while Lilith turned back to the window to see the sparkle and sparkle, with open, wary eyes, to see the wonder, Ruben stepped beside her. He put his hand around her shoulders as his gaze followed the direction that hers took. Amazed to see the world with open eyes, and it was as if he had opened his eyes for the first time in a long time.