On my first weekend in Poland during my recent trip, we went to places that are so dear to me, that have forever engraved special memories and feelings in me.
On our way from my grandma's place, we encountered tractors, cows and beautiful post-harvest fields. I was breath-taken. Poland at its best! Polish countryside as I remember it, as romantic and romanticized as you can imagine, a place of hard work, play, happy cows wandering the fields and happy farmers tending to their plots. The reality is never as bright, but for these few awesome moments, I had the most tender affinity for my country again.
In a little village of Kozlow in the southern Poland, where my mom grew up, and where I spent multiple Christmases, Easters, and summer and winter holidays, there is an orchard that belonged to my grandparents. I probably climbed every single tree in it when I was a kid. For a girl growing up in a decent-sized city it was a paradise. Raspberries, red and black currants, apples and cherries, plums and pears. I might have not been a fruit-centric child, but when it comes to apples especially, they will always have a special place in my diet, and for that I can credit these crazy childhood tree climbs for the best fruit.
There is something so magical about the Polish cemeteries.... They always attracted me with some force that resulted in different creations of imagination. I remember when I was 11 or 12 and was walking through the old part of the cemetery with my parents (around 100 years old), and everything seemed to talk to me in a somewhat fairy-tale-ish way, though (if I were by myself, I would have probably run away!). So I wrote about it when I came back home, and it was one of my first pieces I remember writing for myself that wasn't a journal entry or a school assignment -- and I was so proud!
Village churches. It is so common to see these buildings made with sweat and tears of the locals, financed from their modest savings donated to the church. So many times they are filled with gold and overdone décor. But these ones are different. Modest and realistic. Connected with the people they are serving. Isn't it what God intended and would have wanted?
A drive between Kozlow and Wolbrom (where my grandma lives).
At my grandma's....
Photos taken with Google Nexus 4 and Canon T3i