Jeziorna, Galicia

There’s a village I look at occasionally on Google Maps. I’ve even had a ‘walk’ up and down its main street, where there’s hardly anyone around and the sun is always out. A few places to eat and drink, a handful of shops. Lots of space. Lots of greenery. And because the land is flat and most the houses are single story, lots of sky.

It’s just 30 mins drive from Ternopil on the road to Lviv. Not the most direct route from Kyiv to the Polish border, but not too far out the way either. Ternopil has been in the news a little; people have fled to it, through it and from it. A great many people must have passed through this little village too, on their way westwards.

It’s the village my great grandfather came from, before he and his parents also headed west. For quite a while they lived here in Bethnal Green, which means I now live within a kind of invisible map of where that side of my family lived, worked, went to school…

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