It was a full moon on December 25, she had just stepped off the plane with her family in a snowy postcard Montreal. After having confronted the customs officers with the vigilant eye, all were busy nervously with the suitcases. They took care of arranging the papers while trying to understand how to become exiles in this part of the country where the language was incomprehensible to them. Everyone was talking at the same time, gesturing their apprehension with abruptness and screaming. Annoyed by this storm of words, little Caro moved away from her family to stand outside, in the muffled murmurs of this city of refuge.
Perhaps it was because she was seeing it in person for the first time, but it seemed to her that the snow was taking its time as it fell. It was a majestic snow, the one that calls to the forts, to the angels and to the men inhabiting the courtyards and the parks. Little Caro, who knew nothing about all this, then did what all the children would have done in her place: she tilted her head back, opened her mouth wide and swallowed as many thick flakes as possible. She had no idea that in doing so, the magic would work.
Fairy Noelle appeared in front of the girl even before the snowflakes had time to melt on her greedy tongue. Little Caro, who used to pray to little Jesus, the Virgin Mary or any Latin American saint, could not believe her big black eyes. At first she thought that the fatigue of this journey from one end of the continent to the other made her hallucinate. She blinked two to three times and when she opened her eyelids, a fairy persisted in twinkling in front of her.
– Hello ! I don’t have enough time for your disbelief. You have to make your choice, it’s urgent.
Little Caro was not too impressed with the fairy’s familiarity. In his country, we would have introduced ourselves with drums and trumpets, taking news of the family, the school, the neighbors, the price of bread and the dictatorial policy in place. It did not occur to her to be surprised by the fact that she magically understood the French of the fairy; after all, Santa Claus had found a way to bring him a Barbie on the plane, it wasn’t a miracle.
It had to be December 25, a full moon and magnificent snow for Fairy Noel to appear in front of a child on the edge of a new life. But not just any child, a little girl with a heavy heart, sore memories and greedy eyes. She hid in front of the chosen one to offer him two destinies. The child could only make one choice and would then forget about the fairy until the final day of her life, when she would return to look for her.
The choice was cruel, like all that matter: a long ordinary life without fuss with a sudden death in its sleep or a short effervescent life with a long and suffering death.
– So kid, what do you prefer?
Between fear and excitement, little Caro did not remain thoughtful for long. The ballet of snowflakes had chosen her, the little refugee with bushy hair and her heart full of snags; there was no time for hesitation. The pain did not scare her, she understood that life still included her. She came from a line of cold bellies, where women are silent, bow down and live in parentheses. To cut the thread that keeps them all silent or translucent, little Caro chooses tumult and movement, even if it was only for a brief moment.
His life did not disappoint. She had many precious friends, who raise and sneer. She was able to exercise the most beautiful of trades, that of talking to young people who are forming. She learned several languages, traveled everywhere and ended up saying yes to the sweetest boy, a giant from elsewhere with verdigris eyes. She was given custody of the brightest children, she only had to keep them alive, everything else she learned from them. From her once stunted heart came a book that made her the author and she reveled in all the experiences that marked her journey.
Sure, she made a few choices, but the truth is, the fairy had set the table for a fate to remember. Little Caro was involved in all kinds of causes, and if every Christmas she brought bread, tea and sugar to those who had less, it was because she knew that her own life was on loan and that her heart was on the side. beggars.
When suffering knocked on her door, everyone was surprised. When death sat very close, people cried out against injustice: how dare an abrupt and sorrowful end to counteract years of blissful living?
Fairy Noel returned to the full moon. It was December 24; little Caro was at the center of her loved ones who guessed the end was near. Everyone was crying, and although one can never quench the tears of others, one can utter balm words that repair grief. So she said thank you, thank you so much to her.
Thank you to her parents, thank you to her big brother for having sacrificed everything, swallowed the black dust so that it could shine under their moon. She thanked her little brother for having embroidered with her the threads of the years and each of the stitches of the most fruitful friendship. Her friends for forming circles where suffering was named and comforted. The books, his companions in solitude, telling him the incredible diversity of who we are, we humans. His fellow fighters and his students for bringing about the consequences of the world by dancing on volcanoes. His companion for showing him that if love is an action, it is that of reaching out in happiness, cold, fear, but also when we get lost along the way. Her children, to whom she would have liked to make understand that, through who they are, their mere presence makes the world more beautiful.
His relatives remained frustrated: how not to be angry with a life cut short by a slow death? Little Caro smiles. The disease is still loneliness, but it had bonded with enough humans to blur the great sorrows.
– We must not underestimate the chance to have a moment to say goodbye, say thanks to those we have loved and who in return, miracle of miracles, have also loved us.
The little fairy who came to pick her up had tears in her eyes, she who had never cried. She stood watching the snow fall for so long that the moment slipped through her fingers. She left empty-handed on December 25 and was busy guiding damaged children. One day devoured the next so much that in the end, she didn’t come back for little Caro until many winters later, long after that mournful evening.
During this time, humans invented a new tradition.
Every Christmas we would take bread, tea and sugar to those whose bellies were cold, to those who took refuge. Then, we gathered to watch the snow fall, after having had the chance to say goodbye, to say thank you to those we loved and who in return, miracle of miracles, also loved us.