pink fog was slowly filling up the hollow
of Dolotzo Lake. First rays of morning sun
were touching hills, trees and Russian houses
darkened by age. My village of Shanevo was
waking up slowly. I could hear the creaky
sound of rowlocks, water splashes made by
a lonely fisherman's boat in the Lake. The
rooster is crowing somewhere far away, in
the other village across the Lake. There
are no more roosters in Shanevo I had this
dream so many times. The same dream over
and over again. Sometimes in this dream
I'm going back to old times. Strange animals
are wondering around. Giant trees are hanging
over the lake. Does not look like my village
But I know that this is still my Shanevo.
Sometimes locals call their village Shenevo
("Shee-nio-vo), but usually they say Shanevo
(Shah-nio-vo). They like "Shah" solid, well
grounded sound. I found the meaning of the
word Shanevo in the very well respected
Dal's Dictionary of Russian language "Lasy,
scatter-brained loafer". Strangely enough
long time ago very industrious people lived
in Shanevo village. It was the only village
in Russia during serfdom times (abolished
in our country in 1863) where serfs paid
ransom and freed themselves!
Lake Dolotzo is 3 km long. The widest part
of the lake is 500 meters. One end of the
lake is "sharp". I think this is the reason
why the lake got its name. Doloto is a sharp
metal instrument, Dolotzo is a small Doloto.
The lake as deep as 30 meters in some places.
The color of the water is brown-black Put
your hand into the water and hold it 10
inches down you won't be able to see it.
The water in the lake has healing qualities.
All your cuts will be healed if you washed
them with this water. Tea made in Samovar
is very tasty, especially if you add some
local flowers in it. But only those who
tried this tea can appreciate it.
houses could be counted in the village in
the past. These days, after numerous fires,
war, soviet experiments in agriculture only
14 houses left. Most of them belong to "dachniks"
people from Moscow and St'Petersburg who
come to Shanevo for summer. At night big
bears come to the village. You can easily
catch a wild rabbit in your yard. Once locals
found a dead lynx in the shack. Wild animal
was trying to hide from hunting wolves and
died from wounds No need to mention snakes
they are everywhere. Watch your steps! Peaceful
image of the Dolotzo Lake with my blue boat
for fishing. So as you can see Shanevo is
a backwoods. You can hardly find such a
backwoods in the middle of the Russian plane
spring the oldest local Babushka died in
Shanevo. Her name was Pania. She was buried
on the village cemetery. But it is not easy
to get to the cemetery, as it is not easy
to get to Shanevo itself. Streams, marshy
valleys, mad hollows on the roads make it
really hard for regular transportation to
get through especially in Spring. You can
get to Shanevo only if you REALLY want to.
It was so muddy spring time that it created
a problem how to get to the cemetery to
bury Babushka Pania. Tractor had no chance
to make it. Locals decided to go by boat
across the lake. Her little coffin was placed
in the Serega's boat. People from Shanevo
and their neighbors from nearest villages
got into other boats. They were pulling
Babushka Pania's boat behind them on the
string. This medieval looking procession
took the coffin to the cemetery on the other
side of the Lake.
I can imagine mythical someone who conveys
the souls of the dead to the other side.
But in this case it was not Leta River,
but Dolotzo Lake, and it was not Kharon
rowing the boat but Serega with no teeth.
He lost them all during winter fishing.
- Natalia Tuchina
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