From under the fur-lined peak appears, in the cold winter, a red nose, bereft of the comfort of clothes. The first day of November benumbs life in my veins, keeping me steady on the path covered by leaves. A very strong fresh air fills my lungs, and nourishes my skin with a kind of mountain health. On my face some lively beams of sun melt the frown, smoothing my forehead, emerging from the evergreen branches. They shine in the blue of my eyes; they filter through the branches like honey, pouring out yellow warmth which has the power to melt my sadness. The park is like a watercolor palette which contains rusty hues. Nature dressed up with autumnal clothes that dry on the ground, whipped by the cold season. There can be felt the edge of winter, which awaits the arrival of December in order to make its great entrance. Its crystal cloak is floating and spreading a frosty weather perfume on the realm of the last month of the fall. The cold whip has its top hung in the air of this day, biting the pedestrians` noses. Finally, the light of the sky and the lethargy of the ground join into a tango, accompanied by the people`s steaming breath.
A bright day is revealed to the eye, full of shining rays which cheat the frozen steps into heading towards the sun, searching for its kindness. At Vatra Dornei, a town situated between the mountains, the sky is closer to the ground. One could think the rays of sun reach the earth faster, for we are up high, on hard rocks. But before dancing in our hands, the warmth glides among the powerful rocks and calms its ardor, resting in coolness.
The park is guarded by the walls of nature, dwelling among them like the core of a walnut. A perky Creanga bears on his shoulders flocks of hungry pigeons that rush into the crowds of passengers. The bust of Eminescu watches over the cold alleys as the evening star that shines in the frozen sky. Naked trees, cold statues and rusty leaves, united in a single carpet swept by the wind – it is a page of literature, written with melancholy. And the echo of the grey thoughts reaches the soul, wandering inside the mind.
But the chain of memories breaks when hearing its name. A soft voice reaches my ear: “Mariana?” A cheerful image unfolds before me, a sincere life moment, and an innocent song with the voice of a child. Two walnuts are being repeatedly snapped on the background, orchestrating the call of Mariana. Stealthily slides the pace on the still fresh grass, gently looking for Mariana among trees. The baby human, watched by his mother, kneads his small hands, lively uttering the hostess’s name. For Mariana is the mistress of the park. She is a soul divided in warm little creatures, with joyous spirit that dwells in the trees. She is one in many, one that covers the whole park, rendering equilibrium. She is a heart that beats in every corner, spreading warmth on every frozen branch. And this little soul fragment emerges from the back of the thick trunks, beguiled by the walnut in the palm of the guest. A peewee of dense fur shows up, with eyes like a pair of black beads, which carry with pride her adornment – the bushy tail. With lively instincts, she quickly shifts from place to place, analyzing the distance. The wild nature draws her far away, at shelter. But she is not a random squirrel. She is Mariana from Vatra Dornei, the pride of the resort, famous all over the country. Beloved by everyone, she has learnt to love people as well, accepting their gifts. Mariana does is not afraid of tourists, but swarms the alleys, letting herself called by the passengers, letting them admire her and wonder when she grabs their walnuts from their hands, running away before they realize she is so close and dare to touch her.
Gazing at the beautiful picture of nature, my face brightens with a smooth smile that quietly agrees with the miracle of life. Warmth lies neither in the weather’s temperature, nor in the beams of light from the sun. Warmth is inside us. It springs from the spirit, gazing at Mariana…