Quiet My Homeland

“Wind on the windows,

Quiet as a dream,

And behind the orchards in the twilight of fields

Screams quail, early stars twinkling,

The neighing of the hobbled young horses… “

These lines of Nikolai Rubtsov seem to speak of my homeland – a small village, lost in the boundless Kulunda steppe on the border of two regions. Here live and work wonderful people, my countrymen. For decades they have been plowing the land, raising bread. They live one life with a big country. In this village I was born, here I went to a kindergarten, and then to school. My relatives and friends live here.

There are no monuments of culture in the village, but there is a rare sight for our places – it is a birch grove that gently shelters houses from ruthless steppe winds. Birches in the grove once mixed with apples and sea-buckthorn, cherries and raspberries from an abandoned garden. All together, they formed here and there surprisingly cozy

and picturesque corners. It is in this place that I often run away, I hide in my favorite meadow, when I want to be alone.

Sometimes I read, sometimes I just lie in the grass, I look at the high sky above the tops of the birches, where they float like the swans of a cloud, taking bizarre forms. And then they melt, disappearing without a trace. All around is divinely quiet. Fluttering butterflies and dragonflies. Humming bees and bumblebees, birds chirping. A rustling of leaves rustles. It smells of strawberries. A light breeze walks over the clearing and shakes the heads of flowers. The sun caresses my cheeks. Beauty!

For hours I like to wander in a birch grove in the summer hot days. The trees rustle above their heads. It smells of mushrooms. It blushes between the leaves of the bricks, someone considers a cuckoo for some years. Sunlight rays burst through the thick foliage.

Especially beautiful here in the early autumn. In what wonderful colors paint the leaves of trees a generous autumn!

Golden, purple leaves sparkle and shimmer under the autumn sun. The whole earth is covered with a golden

carpet. And above all this magnificent beauty is an unusually blue sky.

I like to wander in the autumn grove, when there is a fine warm rain. Under the feet a rug of leaves rustles, drops dropping from the trees like tears, tears of parting with a warm summer. In windy weather, a real blizzard of multicolored foliage rises in the grove. The air becomes clear and clean. The last cobweb glitters on twigs. The grove is silent and empty. Feel the smells of the near cold.

It becomes sad because soon winter will sweep the snow all the paths to your favorite places in the grove.

I will be bored and look forward to spring. The warm sun will warm again, birds will fly, trees and flowers will be opened. The gentle azure of the sky will again caress the eye. The grove will again be filled with life and take me into its green embrace.

And after many years at the word of birth, I will remember my native quiet village and that treasured meadow in a grove where I lie on the grass, look to the sky and are infinitely happy.

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Quiet My Homeland