upon a time, time was still in time. A second's tick-tock in the mists
of times… When one could catch all the time in the world within a moment.
Earth was in the sky, the sky was in the Moon and the Moon was in my eye,
this is to say that it was long time ago…
Humanity was in a dry spell. The wise, learned men, the great sorcerers
where together trying to pierce the secrets of rain, but… no way… A snake
proposed to help them, one of those small snakes, one of no importance…
Men mocked at him: "You such a small snake, you pretend to help us!?".
One of them caught him and threw him so strong… that the snake rolled
out from end to end of the Earth… getting entangled with his scales in
the vault of heaven… Some ice fragments were scraped and fell down giving
the rain… In this way Earth blossomed again, under the glittering arch
of the first rainbow…
growing old, takes, sometimes, the colour of a legend and, perhaps, the
night most recent dream will be tomorrow truth…
Christmas 2009 ...Tale and wishes from Paulo Coelho
to an old and well-known legend, a week before Christmas, Archangel Michael
asked his angels to visit the earth. He wanted to
know if everything was ready for the celebration of the birth of Jesus
Christ. He sent them in pairs, always an older angel accompanying a younger
one, so that they could have a broader picture of what happened in Christianity.
One of these pairs was assigned to Brazil, where they arrived late one
night. Since they had nowhere to sleep, they took shelter in one of the
great mansions that can be seen in certain parts of Rio de Janeiro.
The owner, a nobleman on the verge of bankruptcy (which, incidentally,
happens to many people in that city), was a fervent
Catholic, and soon recognized the heavenly pair by the golden halos on
their head. However, he was too busy preparing a big Christmas, and so
as not to disturb the completed decorations, he requested that his heavenly
guests to sleep in the basement.
Although Greetings cards are always illustrated with snow falling, Christmas
falls in the middle of summer in Brazil, the sun was scorching hot and
the air, full of moisture, it was almost suffocating. The angels laid
down on a hard floor, but before starting their prayers, the older angel
noticed a crack in the wall. He got up, repaired it using his divine powers,
and returned to his evening prayers. The two felt as though they had spent
the night in hell, it was so hot. They slept very poorly, but they needed
to fulfill the mission entrusted to them by God.
The next day, they went through the big city, with its 12 million inhabitants,
its beaches and mountains, its contrasts, its beautiful landscapes and
its horrible places. They completed their reports, and when night fell
back they began to travel into the country.
But, distracted by the difference in hours, they again found themselves
with no place to sleep. They knocked on the door of a humble home,
where a couple came to meet them. Lacking access to medieval engravings
that portrayed the messengers of God, the couple did not
recognize the two pilgrims, but told the angels that if they were in need
of shelter, the house was theirs. They prepared a dinner, presented their
little newborn baby and offered his room to the angels. They apologized
that they were poor and that while the heat was great during the day,
they had no money to buy an air conditioner.
When the angels awoke the next day they found the couple in tears. Their
only possession, a cow that gave milk for cheese, and support for the
family, was found dead in their field. They quickly parted with the pilgrims,
embarrassed because they could not prepare a breakfast.
While walking through the mud road, the younger angel showed his anger,
“I can not understand this way of doing things! The first man had
everything he needed, and yet you helped him by repairing his wall. Then
with this poor couple, who received us so well and kindly, you did nothing
to alleviate their suffering!”
“Things are not what they seem,” said the older angel, “when
we were in that awful basement, I noticed there was plenty of gold hidden
in the wall of the mansion, left there by a previous owner. The crack
was exposing the treasure, and I decided to hide it again, because the
landlord did not help those in need. Yesterday, while we slept in the
bed the poor couple offered, I noticed that a third guest had arrived,
the angel of death. He had been sent to take the child, but since I've
known him for many years, I convinced him to take the life of the cow
in its place."
Remember the day that is about to be celebrated; since people didn’t
give much value to appearance, no one wanted to take Mary in. But the
pastors welcomed her, and because of that, they had the grace to be the
first to behold the smile of the Savior of the World.