a language I almost understand


As we complete leg one of our two-step flight, Polish culture begins to seep into our bones. We left an unusually sunny Budapest for a short one hour flight into the capital, Warsaw. As Colleen, Jay, and I listen to the Polish announcements, our Russian-tuned ears can almost understand the beautiful Polish language but not quite.

One thing that remains the same across all Slavic cultures is the beauty of its women. As I look around, there is something in the carriage, the eyes, the embrace of their femininity, which is so captivating to the observer. If Slavic cultures are ruled by the babas (grannies) and trust me, they are, then those same cultures have been romanced by their women. This recognition gives new layers of understanding to the Bulgarian proverb, Yes, the man is the head but the woman is the neck. Perhaps this is why we find Slavic women leaning into their femininity.

Culture and history run deep in the countries of central and southeastern Europe. In Poland, one senses a pride that is not misplaced. Of all the countries on our field in this post-communist reality, the Poles have the strongest economy. Poland is thriving in many ways. Yet, as we begin to breathe Polish air on the eve of a historic WW 2 anniversary, one cannot miss the truth that the pride and beauty of this great land is meshed with the pain of generations caught in unbelievable heartbreak.

Floating peacefully in the clouds somewhere between Warsaw and Poznan, I find myself ready to be captivated by this beautiful culture, her language, and her people. Speak to us Poland, we are ready to hear you.

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