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Where does the bread grow?


Damn, I could never understand it, ever. Didn’t give a damn for forty years. For me, bread grew in stores.


But I was driving through different regions, straight for two days, and for the first damn time in my life I almost burst into tears at the sight of a normal field. Like a child. I swear. With snots and everything.


A green tractor was driving across the field. It was pulling some really large thing behind it, like a harrow or something, but I still don’t know the damn name of it… and I suddenly realized with absolute clarity that in the middle of the war, in the middle of hell and fear — Ukraine started its sowing season.


I have never felt such a thirst for life. Such an incredible, passionate desire to prevail at all costs and to forget these fucking waves of fear and fucking sirens forever. The pushes of the rifle into the shoulder and sweaty clothes. The summary reports, operational information, Telegram channels [a popular messenger in Ukraine with channels providing information — Ed.] and the eternal “How are you?” text messages.


In the field to my left, several men were waving their arms, poking each other, grabbing a handful of soil and, for some reason, pouring it back out of their palms. A green tractor was pulling that thing across the field. The howling engine of my almost-repaired car was hauling two tons of iron down a narrow road. I wanted to cry. Hell, I’ve become too sentimental in these thirty-three days of the eight-year war that has been lasting four centuries.


Ukraine began to sow grain. For the bread to grow in stores for me like before.


I stopped, I got out of the crackling hot car. I smoked, took a handful of soil and also poured it back for some reason.


This is not a country. This is a fairy tale.


Martin Brest

March 29 at 7:47 a.m.

Read original text here


Russian Text by Martin Brest, translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team — Apr 1, 2022


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