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 17th Letter in the series.
PS Greetings from old Mr Meiers)
Nica, 5.8.49Very loving greetings from home!
We received a letter from you again, dear Janis, about which we were again so very happy, for we had been waiting for a long time. But now we know that they won’t come so often and we don’t worry in vain about why you are not writing. Thank you so much for the letter and the greeting cards for Whitsun and Jāņi! You have such pretty, typically Latvian postcards there. I am glad that it is possible for such cards to be made there. – I haven’t written to you for such a long time either. We were waiting for a letter from you but maybe could write a bit more often. I will now tell you briefly how things have been for us, how our work has gone, what your birthplace looks like now. – Weeding time is finished, and our Latvian Jāņi came. We passed them fairly quietly. There was a ball at Reingals on Līgo night, our new brass band played for the first time. The weather was fine and it could be heard beautifully over a wide area. I was late with my jobs and did not want to go in the dark, but I was sorry about that. But still, it was maybe even better at home – in a room decorated with birch-boughs and flowers with the window open to feel the spirit of Līgo night and be with you in my thoughts and with all Latvians in exile – don’t your hearts ache also, and even more so, that you cannot be in your homeland and each in your own place and celebrate happily…the day of Jāņi after that was rainy, the firefighters had planned an event at the manor house, but it didn’t happen, because of the rain. Mr Pirtnieks had come with his family as he is a firefighter and the forester’s children came and we played games inside – after that it was very rainy and cool till the middle of July. We managed to get the clover in fairly well before the rainy period really started. It finally ended with rain and thunder that lasted more than a week nonstop, several hours every day. After that the weather cleared again and only then did the summer show its real warmth and loveliness. There wasn’t a drop of rain while we were getting the hay in. Now it’s beginning to rain again on and off, but it doesn’t matter so much now. Soon everyone will have cut their rye. We would have finished by tonight but there was a bit of rain after lunch, we will finish tomorrow. Tomorrow we will go and help the foresters, there will be more reapers there. We did ours by ourselves this year. – We have made quite a lot of jam as well, only the red currants still to pick and preserve. - I went to Liepaja too to take part in the song festival, even though our choir has petered out, nobody went to the rehearsals, but we had to go to Riga for our national costumes, I didn’t go there as a participant, Vera went too and the forester couple. Vera and I stayed with Baris’ sister. Baris is back home now and working as a gardener. It was lovely and very worthwhile to see our Riga, since I had the chance. We visited all the most notable places, cemeteries and monuments. Vera went to see the school she will be teaching at as well in Zemgale and so I got to see Jelgava too and go on the Lielupe in a boat. In short, it was a worthwhile excursion, even though I was away from home for a week. On account of the singers, they didn’t issue train tickets for two days. So I have seen a part of our Homeland again. In the end though, I wished to be home and it was so good to return there, when you return from being away you feel the love that binds you to your home, your birthplace. I can better understand now what you feel, being far away…Thank God that you are doing reasonably well, you are all fed and clothed, that you can study and achieve something and have achieved something already and can thus live better while you are away. We are also glad that you have your own little plot of land, small garden and chickens. I’ve also got quite a lot of cucumbers and tomatoes and they have grown well, and will start to produce soon. Only no one had much joy with their strawberries this year. But other berries and apples were plentiful. I don’t know if I have told you everything now but if not, then we’ll tell you when you come home. It’s a pleasant evening at the moment, calm and dark already. There are yellow dahlias by the window and the grasshoppers are chirping. I will enclose some aster and phlox petals. Give our love to Lidija and Ilmars, and all our love to you. All the very best! - Kate