My little childish miracle happened on the New Year Eve. Already late at night, my dad returned home from a long-distance business trip. He usually came into the apartment quietly, so as not to wake up anyone. And did not wake up. Only I always jumped up before he could put his huge backpack on the floor.

This time I jumped out the same way, warmed his prickly cheeks with my little hands and was happy about his return. This time dad brought a miracle. He opened the backpack and fragrant oranges rolled out of it. I looked and did not believe my eyes. Real, fragrant oranges. By that time, I saw them only in the picture and my friend told me that somehow she had eaten them a little, one slice, and they smell like the African summer. We did not know then what the African summer is like and what its smell. In those days, we had stamps for clothes, queues for several years in length for furniture and television sets, forty-three variants of dishes made from bad grey pasta. And here is such a miracle, real, cold, fragrant oranges.

Later, I found out what they cost my father, how he twice stood in line for some second-hand dealer round the corner of a store in the capital of a neighbouring state, as he almost missed the train because of that, he ran and was afraid that those oranges would squash, after travelling in the frozen compartment, he hid packets with oranges on his chest, so that they would not freeze.

That evening, I was sitting for a long time and dividing those orange treasures into three piles – for myself, my brother, and my parents, although my father said that he and my mother did not eat oranges. Now I also tell my child that, well, no way, by no means, I absolutely do not like chocolate and never eat it. Then, in memory of that miracle, I kept in a special box completely dried skins of that first orange for a very long time, it seemed to me a real miracle then. I lost them, as far as I remember, when I turned seven.

So, my childhood miracle smells like oranges, it feels like prickly father’s cheeks, smells like frost with a touch of oranges and tobacco, and tastes as sweet as an African summer, even though I haven’t been to Africa yet. After that, I tried probably thousands of different oranges, but none of them was that miracle.

After that, I saw many miracles, and even wonders. I came across people, who turned the world around in a difficult moment. They rescued my soul and my life. They were my adult miracle.

Now I’m an adult, even a very adult already (I can’t even believe it), but I also believe in miracles, now even more. Because I know the value of these miracles, I know who creates them, I know that they are born in hearts.

Sometimes, I can create miracles by myself. And they are not for someone, they are for me. Each of them ignites one more light in me that prevents me from getting lost in the darkness of my own fears.

When I became a mother, the first thing I heard from my mother was “just don’t spoil her”. And I try not to pamper my child, not to give more than she needs, not to obey all her wishes and requirements. I explain that it is impossible to buy everything in the world, all the sweets or toys, not everything that I want here and now will be good for me, but sometimes I allow myself to do miracles for her. You cannot surprise the generation of today’s children with oranges, sometimes their toys cost much more than their mother’s smartphone, and clothes are more expensive than the father’s suit. But they also want a miracle, and that miracle is not valued with money. Sometimes it’s just a regular evening pizza, or a couple of hours on a skating rink, or a balloon flight… We never know what they will remember later in their nearly forty years.

Who knows, maybe when my daughter grows up, her miracle will taste like ice cream that we made together, or it will feel like father’s hands, or it will have the smell of seashells and the colour like that desired toy. And again and again I will do miracles for her and for other children so that they understand ‒ miracles exist, to begin their new and good story of miracles so that they know how to do miracles. Let them be small, albeit ordinary, the main thing ‒ from the bottom of the heart.

Tatusya Bo

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