This is from a collection of interviews with Russian people by the Nobel-prize winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich.  Here, one of them explains why there is one sight she has never tired of, and not only due to its beauty. 

The one thing I haven’t got sick of is watching the wheat turn yellow.  I’ve gone hungry so many times that the thing I love best is ripening grain, seeing the sheaves sway in the wind. 

May you enjoy the sight of ripening grain without ever having to go hungry. 

Source: interview with Marina Tikhonovna Isaichik, in Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The last of the Soviets, trans. by Bela Shayevich (New York: Random House, 2017), p. 79

Photo credit: Pexels at pixabay


  1. Marta

    Wheat fields feature beautifully and powerfully in the 2019 Terrence Malick’s film A Hidden Life and provide a comforting memory to a young Austrian farmer in the foothills of the Alps whose life is swept aside by the terrifying consequences of his being a conscientious objector in Nazi Germany.

    • beatriceotto

      Many thanks for sharing this, Marta, it sounds a wonderful film, as well as a companion to this quotation.


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