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A Distant Land
It was my last day and then another year, 12 months, 365 days before I could come again and repeat this feeling over and over again. I still remember my last day in Moldova; the day was full of life but I didn’t feel it. I decided to spend the day with my grandfather and my little cousin who so happened to be there. I found my grandfather in his garden watering his plants at around eight in the morning with a thin jacket on and what I thought was his favorite hat. We got some bikes and went to the store one last time for some ice cream and soda. I pestered my grandpa into letting me buy my own stuff with my money.
“No, no, no,” he said, as his eyes squinted and cheeks curved and wrinkled, telling me to keep my money.
“I have plenty of money it’s not like I have anything to do with it,” he says, waving one hand up and down and in the other holding his money.
We drank our soda and ate our ice cream while simultaneously swatting wasps.
Then I encountered a hill that was on the other side of the road that had some steepness to it. My cousin, Jonathan, and I rode down it then, we climbed to the top over and over again. We asked our grandpa who knew the town much better to take us to some of the biggest hills.
My grandfather had lived here most of his life, I am not sure where he lived previously but that he lost all his brothers and sisters during World War two and the famines that followed in the region. The war had destroyed the land the people lived of of. I remember him telling me stories about it along with other stories that were more childish like talking bears and clever mice. He was always a great store teller and we all like to hear his stories even at this age, the stories of course being about people instead of mice and bears.
We would climb the hill then release the brake and fly down the hill at speeds that released a spirit of adventure. The hill was part stone, dirt, and asphalt that looked like dried magma that had dried before reaching its destination. I then proceeded to climb the hill one more time before again releasing the brake and this time I didn’t hit it again until I was caught up with my grandpa who looked like a stick person in the distance. As I raced down the hill and down, hoping that a car or horse would not come out from behind a corner and squish me, I slipped past them and straight in front while hitting the brake to prevent a simple rock from sending me flying 10 yards.
My grandfather then went down a road I had never gone up before and soon I discovered that we were headed into the old town. I then stopped as I reached the top of a hill and the hill in front of us was long and Jonathan speed down despite my grandfather telling him not to. My grandfather didn’t want us to get hurt no matter how troublesome the younger kids were. At the bottom of the hill was a small bridge that went over a small creak and down a narrow road towards an orthodox church in the distance. I crossed the divide between the two hills and waited along side my grandfather for Jonathan.
We continued up down hills until we stopped at a point in the road that forked in three different ways the most interesting a hill that was rocky, steep and somewhat dangerous. At the fork in the road I could see parts of the town below; I saw the main road, then the school, and off to the left a huge hill that I had trekked up before to go to a lake and collect peaches. It was covered in bendy and curvy trees and tall brush along with trees that had saggy leaves like they had been rained on. The hill in front of me looked like a tunnel with branches and shrubs arching over it blocking out the sun except for some slivers of light that that slipped through. From the vantage point at the top of the hill I could see more clearly all the rocks and slivers in the road. I finally reached the bottom where I meet up with my grandpa and cousin.
We continues on until we reached a winding asphalt road that went down hill. We rode down and it was great, this time the road was smooth; the wind blew against my face in a frantic desperation to stop me. We reached the bottom sadly, I wish that those few minutes would continue on forever but that wasn’t the case. After reaching the bottom we headed to my grandfather’s house to pick up some stuff then headed to my cousin’s house to get a ride to another town.
It was night and I could see the full moon, I eventually found myself asking myself “why”. I remembered all the wonderful memories I had made here; I remembered the two weddings, all the flowers and fancy tables overflowing with food. I remembered my cousins who were getting married. This brought back memories of going from one end of Moldova to the other. I remember the trip to get to the rivers at the border. I saw a field with blooming sunflowers; they were a brilliant yellow that coated the hills and fields like a yellow rug unrolled on the land. It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen like pulled straight out of a movie and dropped right here.
The river on the border was a small valley carved out by the water. I remember getting in and being swept off my feet and flung down stream by the current. We would climb on some sand bags and jump into the river. We climbed back up the hill from the river to eat roasted lamb over a fire with things like salad and bread. I remember the other river we went to; it was more popular the previous river. It had a weaker current and was shaped like a beach. The water was a clear blue with many shades of dark and light blue dispersed throughout a central clear, light blue.
Remembering all these wonderful memories made me sad and eventually we arrived at my grandmother’s house. I said goodbye with watery eyes and went inside to get some sleep. I later woke up later in the early morning and went to the airport. We boarded the plane and said one last goodbye to Moldova for now.