Back in my birthplace of Russia, my family splits their lives between the hustle and bustle of one of the largest cities in the world and rural country land. We have a weekend/summer vacation house, and that is extremely common among the many people of Moscow. Every Friday afternoon, traffic is backed up leaving the metropolis for hours and again Sunday night coming back.
Like my family’s house, these getaway houses (called dachas) are situated in little micro villages. In each “compound” there’s a little mini mart and they generally have a few personal policemen for the area. In 1970, my grandfather built our dacha, pretty much all by himself with some help from my mother and aunt who were tiny at the time. It isn’t common to buy dachas, usually they get torn down and new ones are built and then they stay in the family for as long as the family exists. It’s beautiful white construction compliments the many fragrant flowers my grandmother planted there over the years. My grandfather is passed away now, but the fact that these flowers still live in the sweat and blood of his hard work keeps his memory alive.
Whenever I visit I like to go to the gazebo that faces east of the house, (not our gazebo—the “village” of Kaluzhoskoye’s) and think how far away I am from everything that defines my everyday life. My heart lives here and what’s beautiful is that I get to appreciate this place across the world, and I’ll never get tired of it because I don’t see it everyday.