Ushkovo Wonders: The Northern Forest

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There’s a summer estate in Russia that holds special memories for me. It’s beautiful, peaceful, hauntingly quiet, isolated, and has the type of fresh air that I didn’t yet find in America. And the light of the day stretches into the evening, as often seen in northern regions.

It’s special because I spent the best parts of my younger childhood there. Many years later, I came back…and the surge of nostalgia was the peak of my summer. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m coming there again soon. But what I have are memories, and these precious memories I will treasure forever. Cheesy as this sounds, yeah, but I think we all have places we hold dear.

*****

My dear friends!

Ever wonder what place in the world to me is dear?

It existed in my mind, yet so real

My love of it pains and sears.

*

It’s Ushkovo, the Russian northern forest

In summer, it bathes in a white night

It’s my memories that call me to it

To be there — never out of sight.

*

I’ve been there

In that everlasting night

Just a few latitudes left

Into a Laplandish night.

*

Ushokovo was always a scenic mystery

My nostalgic stays there but history

I long for it, drink it in!

My surging blood calls me there as kin!

*

My memories sifted and sore

I try to remember more

Atmospheric perspective

I take to heart the dearest and its core.

*

Tip-toeing through the forest and trees

I visualize birch and bark around me

The fresh air oh so sweet!

What I remember! What I can see!

*

Birds, moss, mushrooms, creek

Signify my secret glen

I could romp in that new world forever

Never worried, never sullen.

*

One summer house in the midst

Same as the one from forever ago

Tucked between the trees

My house is still the one I know.

*

Then as I snuggle in bed,

I feel a rumble, a distant whistle of the train

Sound echoes through the still night, out of sight,

Lingering miles through the trees and rain.

*

Dearest!

Is this place not real?

My love of Ushkovo, the northern wonder

Will never die, will never seal.

*

Ushokovo,

I love you like a homeland

You’ll remain, will you not?

Wait for me!

For you’re the one my dreams have tirelessly sought.

 

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