When chicken and cows are kept in big farms and our vegetables are grown only in the huge fields, that go way beyond the horizon, it’s getting impossible to find a little family that would keep their own animals and grow their own crops on a small patch of land. Impossible to find people who would be proud of their hard work, who could lead a good life in a village and get enough income from their produce and wouldn’t need to drown their sorrows in alcohol. And so, something that used to be pretty standard is getting exclusive, rare.
This weekend I went to see some friends of ours, who have kept their roots on an old estate. I took some photos as I want to “freeze” in time a real Lithuanian village that sadly is dying off: giving in to the globalization, cracking at the threshold of the economic crisis, witnessing so many broken lives.
(Surnames on the old post box - only one of the four is still alive. Parents die and their children run away, flood the big cities looking for a better life.)
Everything’s run by a 75 year old lady. She gets some help by one of her daughters, who comes to visit every weekend and other relatives, who give a hand mainly in the summer.
We sat at a table covered in a white table cloth, had massive portions of potato pie, cooked on a real fire stove, and felt very welcome, probably just like the local priest, who comes for a special meal several times a year. The yard might not look very tidy, but everything’s done with care and love. That’s what Lithuanian village used to be like, that’s how we should strive to keep it.
I’m not afraid of hard work and keep dreaming that one day I will join some small community, where we can share our goods: swap eggs for fresh milk, give advice on growing carrots and beet root and always be there for each other in case something bad happens. I still believe it’s possible! To prove it I would gladly get rid of my city life and stay closer to nature and warmer people, who saying “Good Morning” actually mean it.