The air is chilly. The handle of the thick hardwood door cold. Halfway open, the indoor warmth of a few dozen people and flickering flames begins to melt the ice crystals of my exhale.
The romantic light blends with the golden ornaments. The people standing, facing East, seem to blend with the walls of the room filled with the smell of incense and the candid voices of a few women and men chanting the lyrics of a melody written in a language that is unintelligible to my mind but not so to my heart.
I find myself in the back of an Orthodox church and at the beginning of the community’s Saturday evening service.
There is no need for my mind to understand what is being said to love the devotion of the man standing in front of me moving his right hand and arm a hundred times over his head, chest and shoulders, bowing forward in his suit he must have zealously conserved for a few decades; or the woman’s need to gently lean her shoulder against the wall to alleviate her knees from the weight of standing still for the better part of an hour.
When will we stop to fear or to criticize religions and other people’s beliefs, expressions or traditions; stop advocating our belief is the only, the right; stop pointing at the other labeling her socialists, Christian, communists, Muslim, capitalists, Buddhist instead of seeing us as a people with different answers to the same questions? I believe, we talk the same language that, however, might appear as unintelligible languages because if we listen we do so with our mind.