Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Everything will come to dust

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

The fiestas in the Spanish city of Valencia involve a curious ritual, which has its origins in the ancient community of carpenters there.
During the year, artisans and artists make gigantic wooden sculptures. In the week of the fiesta, these sculptures are placed in the middle of the main square. People look, pass comment, and feel amazed and moved at such creativity. Then on St Joseph’s day, all these works of art – apart from one – are burned on a huge bonfire, before thousands of onlookers.
‘All that work for nothing!’ said an Englishwoman at my side, while the vast flames rose up to the skies.
‘You too will come to an end one day,’ replied a Spanish woman. ‘Just imagine if an angel were to say to God then: "All that work for nothing."’

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