Monday, April 19, 2010

Prayers for Poland

Amidst Europe's air chaos, Poland is living out the tragic effects of their own air chaos. Ninety-six high level political officials died in a plane crash on April 10, including the Polish President and First Lady. My heart goes out to the families and the entire nation. I cannot imagine how losing so many must feel. The entire government was wiped away in one fell swoop and those left must seem paralyzed with grief.

Certainly I am sending prayers to Poland. Yet this story also brings home something amazing from our expat experience. The world is smaller to me now. We are more connected and effected by events that happen where we have been. Borders are no longer barriers to foreign lands, but convenient dividers of custom and culture.

We have traveled to Poland - three times. To Warsaw, Gdansk and to Krakow. They have been some of my very favorite trips. At first a little fearful of Poland with images of grey WWII gloom in my head, I was overwhelmed with the color and beauty of this country. The people are kind and warm-hearted. The food was surprisingly delicious and cheap! Many of my most beloved artists were Polish. I would return to Poland in a heartbeat.

And as Polish grief plays out on our televisions I am transported there through memories since we have visited St. Mary's Basilica where the President's state funeral Mass and procession took place and the Castle Hill where he will be entombed. We recognize sites in Warsaw where the initial images of grief emerged amidst a sea of votive candles.

My hope and wish is that even though Connor may be too young to remember that through this blog journal and photos she will feel a similar closeness with countries and people all over the world. It certainly will make World History and Geography come alive. We are saving Romanian money, European postcards, and many maps for a very international show-and-tell one day down the line!

Click here for an article I wrote about our initial visit to Poland (Krakow) for the AWCB newsletter.


Jenna said...

Love this post. We are grieving for Poland. I totally agree that the world does feel smaller because of our travels and you say it so elegantly. You have a great way with words.

Sues said...

I've been thinking of my time in Krakow this week, too. The world really IS so small!