Sudikj – the village where my ancestors were born is not well known nor significant for anything, except maybe for the stubbornness of its famous and not-so famous former inhabitants. I say former because in the recent years only two families exist here, comprised of a few old and middle-aged men, owners of two flocks of sheep, the last ones persistent in their defiance to the modern city-life.
It is situated about ten kilometres north of Shtip, between Sveti Nikole, Probishtip and Shtip, somewhere around the centre of the Earth. It can be reached from the narrow village road, asphalted fifteen years ago, just wide enough so that two vehicles driving in opposite directions can pass one another.
Cutting in the middle the fertile Peon wheat fields, you pass by the small monastery of st. Elijah, and shortly arrive to the village spout from which spring water flows and the villagers fill their “bardachinja” for centuries, the stream is weak but the water is cold and has sweet taste.
The road ends in front of the church st. Petka, the oldest one of the seven existing in the village, where my father was baptized ninety years ago. It was recently renovated and it has amazingly painted iconostasis.
We arrived at the end of the road, however not to the end our journey. Surrounded from three sides with hills, came into sight the houses on the elevations, wrecked from the cruelty of times of village-town migration, peacefully and solemnly, the crude walls remembered their distant moments full of life. There in the midst of the ruins we had a feeling that we are at the end of the world, but a moment later it came to our mind that the ancient road Via Egnatia crosses here, witnessing the brighter periods of the village.
And then, when I arrived at the place of the old house, when I stepped onto the empty space where once the fireside had burnt, I was overwhelmed by some strange, new feeling, as if the soil was talking to me that here are my roots…
Now what is more to write about, whether of the pile of old tiles, ingrown with the ground, of the heap of rocks from my grandparent’s house, or for the old man’s heavy tears that fell on my father’s wrinkled face when he understood that the round rock that he had carved as child, from which the poultry had drunk, wasn’t there anymore. He remembered with a sigh that it stood there for almost a century but disappeared in the same way as the wooden wall studs were gone many years ago…
Ovche pole sunsets are another story, at the end of the day they unveiled me another timeless gift of nature, astounded and speechless I was following the last rays of the sun which playfully blended in the most extraordinary colours on the horizon.
My return to the primeval was ending, the village uncovered me its secrets, only the rocks were inviting me for another adventure, emotional and spiritual experience. I thanked them for their invitation and whispered that we have to separate now but will see each other soon.