White bread falling from the sky

The snow came suddenly and just at the moment when I stopped to refuel the car in front of the monastery. I passed this place many times, but never went inside. And this time I made up my mind. Perhaps influenced by the long-awaited snow – it was large, heavy, and it was the first this December.

Having passed through the arch of the main entrance, I crossed the courtyard and found myself at the gate of the monastery garden. It was locked, but about ten meters to the right, the fence broke off and it was not difficult to get into the garden – which I did.

And at that moment the snow fell even more. The birds sitting in the trees probably decided that they were slices of white bread falling from the sky, and all have taken to the air. They rose high into the sky and mixed with the snow, so it was not always possible to understand where the birds were and where the snow was. After making a few circles over the dome of the old temple, they again sat in the trees. I returned to the courtyard and walked along the bank of the monastery pond, past the a bathing pond  and a dilapidated pavilion, with a crucifix bolted to one of the pillars.

During this short walk, I did not meet a single living soul, although the monastery is located within the city, across the street from a large shopping center. And when I went back to the car, the snow began to subside, and soon it stopped completely. I think that by the evening not a trace of him remained. This short snowfall was almost the only one this winter – the most snowless in my memory.

Later, I drove past this place more than once or twice, but no miracle happened again. Will it ever happen again? I do not know. It doesn’t matter anymore – it remains in these frames, and that’s enough for me. Temple, trees, birds – and white bread falling from the sky.


The Coastal Monastery of St.Sergius, St.Petersburg,  2019
All images and text © Oleg Kolimbet

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