But when he took her to his apiary and told her about the life of bees, which were creatures he loved with a passion, when he walked with her through the fields in the evening and showed her how untidily a certain field was sown and with how little effort it could be made far more productive, when Kienschaper helped a cow to calve or, unasked, righted a toppled fence, when he sat at the organ and improvised for the two of them, when everywhere he went looked tidy and at peace for his having been there – then that did more than any words could do for Eva’s contentment. It was a life gently inclined toward its end, peaceful and bringing peace in a time full of hatred, blood and tears.
I have never, in all my life, been so desperately and wildly and painfully happy as I was then. It was so strong I couldn’t believe it. I remember saying to myself, This is it, this is being happy, and at the same I was appalled because it had come out of so much ugliness and unhappiness. And all the time, down our cold faces, pressed together, the hot tears were running.