A place to belong

In the northern Carpathians, within the Orava countryside, there are last pieces of land that ecologists call waterlogged alpine spruces, peatbogs and cold-loving foothill meadows. I call them my home. A unique place that made me feel worthy of belonging.

forest biking
I am fascinated by unknown places revealing new worlds for life to humankind. Thanks to modern technologies. The wrinkled ridges of Mars, where space robots tirelessly search for signs of possible life, or the dark basement of industrial buildings, where smart technologies imitate sunlight to grow plants. Nevertheless, I always run after one place where the progress of time has stalled with the agricultural revolution. A unique place that made me feel worthy of belonging.
In the northern Carpathians, within the Orava countryside, there are last pieces of land that ecologists call waterlogged alpine spruces, peatbogs and cold-loving foothill meadows. I call them my home.
As a small girl, I felt ashamed, doubting If I was good enough for others, for cool girl groups, for myself. So I spent hours and hours alone out there. And my parents could go crazy while searching for me.
Orava countryside
Countryside adventure on bike
When things didn’t go well for me, I sneaked into the open waterlogged forests. I hid among the old spruces – with crowns stretching to the sky, I just stared at the carefully intertwined branches of mutually allied trees. Climbing up the furrowed bark I felt the connection.
And when things were going too well, I celebrated with a strange dance in a nearby waterlogged meadow among my ageing wrinkled friends. Have you ever hopped on the stage sinking your bare feet into fluffy damp pillows of the peat bogs? You wouldn’t even need an audience.
peatbog climate change
For a long time, I carefully kept this place away from prying eyes just like a secret gem, so no one could steal it from me. But as I became older, bolder and stronger enough to leave my family, I realized that my special place was changing too. The wetlands were slowly drying up and the ancient spruces were disappearing.
I have always been afraid of the moment when I lose my closest family. However, I know that when it happens, this tiny piece of land will keep me in touch with them forever. As long as this place remains intact. Seeing the climate change alters beloved landscape – untouched since the last ice age, I feel the loss. It feels like homesickness. Although I hadn’t left home.
And I no longer hide this special spot just for myself. I’m showing it to you. Just as wet meadows and waterlogged spruces once protected me from unwanted audiences, now it depends on your views. Because if we share together, we care together. And this is how astounding things happen. Some call it magic.
forest biking

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