Prababushka Liza and her garden
As a city person, I don't think of land much, my life passes in environment full of concrete and metal. I want to share how Soviet government contributed to me losing that connection. My great grandmother Liza built a small house with a small flower garden. She sold flowers at the market as her only income. She spent years collecting bricks to build that house and valued each piece of it. The house survived the Word War Two and was a place both my grandma and my mom consider home. My childhood was filled with stories of house and garden as part of what mattered to us as a family. I never met prababushka Liza. The government was building apartment blocks of concrete and metal in 1977 and my family was forced to move. The house and the garden were destroyed by excavators, the only thing left was two old trees that my mom always goes to see when she visits once a year. When I go with her, I feel the energy of that place and try to imagine what the space was like. I have dreams about it and all the women there. My great grandma Liza who died of cancer shortly after she was moved away from her flowers, my other grandma Marusya who planted a small garden next to the apartment building, my grandma who protected the trees she planted with me next to her building and my mom who is the keeper of these stories. I want my daughter to have as much connection to that garden and house as these generations of women had. I want her to be able to build her own house and have her own garden maybe in a symbolic way.