Janis CIRKSIS was a displaced person (DP) after the Soviet union annexed Latvia and the Baltic states during WWII. This is a continuation in the series of letters that he received from his homeland, translated into English. To see the other letters in the series click HERE.
For more information on Latvian translations please see the Latvian Translations page.
This is the 20th Letter in the series.
A sincere greeting from the shores of the Amber Sea!!!
Dear Janis, I want to write a few lines to you today and also send best wishes for your namesday. I think you will receive them in time.
Here in your Homeland the spring is really starting now, which as you will remember, is late this year and made us wait quite long for its splendour and warmth. Only this morning can you feel that the buds on the cherry trees are opening, a few petals are showing. Last week the weather warmed up, but is still not really summery. You still can’t sunbathe or swim. I did start going barefoot yesterday though. The leaves on the birches have opened, on our birch by the barn too. That has now grown so big that it is twice as high as the buildings, and the larch the same. The buds on the other trees are still only swelling and opening. The oak tree by the well, which has the little linden tree next to it, has grown full and strong, in a few decades it will be really mighty. Yesterday and today the first buds of the jonquils and tulips are opening too, the bleeding-hearts are flowering. The early potatoes, which we had sprouted, are poking out of the ground too now, the carrots, beetroot, beans and peas are shooting. The strawberries are not flowering yet though. The gooseberries, the black and red currants are flowering. I have also finished weeding the garden. It will be a bit easier now, when I come back from the kolkhoz fields, I will not have to work in the garden. When it gets warmer, Mum will help with weeding our vegetable beds, those that we have now. She is looking after both piglets now, she gathers grass from the garden for them, she milks the goat and feeds the milk to the lambs, she cooks and so she is also quite busy at home. Also, when it was cold and she could not go outside yet, she knitted gloves. Dad and I go to work in the kolkhoz almost every day. It’s a struggle at the moment to finish the spring sowing, which is dragging on this year too, but we hope to finish next week. Last week we girls, such as we are here, spread the artificial fertiliser on the ploughed fields. The men sow and harrow. The tractors are a great help to us too, although there could be more of them, there are only a few for each kolkhoz. This year we will be growing a wide area of a new crop – corn. According to the plan it should grow here, but this year we have had an unusually cold and late spring… They have dug a big drain through the Ezerins’ meadows from the Kristus creek by the Kaupelis’ place right up to our place along the old meadow ditch, which has been straightened out though. The small excavator finished digging this morning. They are digging a river too, through the meadows that are on the sea side. So you see we have major land amelioration works happening!... And such, my dear brother, is the face of the locality and place of your birth, as far as it can be described in a letter. Spring, our most beautiful time of year, is beginning, summer will come soon, but you, on the other side of the globe, will have winter…This morning is especially beautiful and sunny, the air is full of fragrance and the twittering of birds. Mum has gone for a nap, father had to go help mark out the land for the corn, there will be people from Liepaja here today to help sow. And me – at this moment I am with you in my thoughts, my dear brother, and with all you others. We will wait eagerly for a letter from you! Sincere and loving greetings to you and all the others from me, mum and dad!!!
PS Mrs Kaupelis keeps asking and asking if you might know anything about her Janis. There are a few women here asking questions like that. If you are able to contact anyone, tell them that their families here are waiting for them to write.