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  My HERITAGE,
          My DESTINY
                             

Chapter 1

The Open Window

 
       The day was beautiful and sunny on that summer morning. The front window was opened toward the street and it was low enough to the floor for a four-year-old child to stand there, listen, and let the sunrays to enter directly into the room. Flowers were blooming in a flower box just below the outside of the window. The sidewalks on either side of the street were narrow. A lonely lamppost stood in front of the house and seemed to be the only one on the street.
The skinny little blonde haired, blue-eyed girl stood at the window for a time absorbing the sounds and the sights. There seemed to be a din of noises going on in the street that would announce the morning had started and people were bustling about their business. On the narrow concrete sidewalks people chattered and scurried to the market or to their jobs.
In the distance was the all-familiar sound of horse hoofs and carriage wheels on the rumbling cobblestone streets. Then one came closer and the sound became louder until it was right in front of the window and as it passed by the window the clamoring grew dimmer and dimmer as it went on its way in the distance. The hustle and bustle on the street was a sound embedded in the four year old girl’s mind. This was my home as I remember it on Rupniecibas Street, Bauska.
That child was I. It was my favorite morning pastime - to stand at the low living room window and take in the sounds of industrious people going about their business and living in a free country. It was the sound that I would not allow to leave my mind. It would become my fondest childhood memory. This was my homeland and it would soon be only a memory, my country, the land of my birth, Latvia. The sound that I had grown so accustomed to would never be again.

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