Amidst the goodnight chatter of JJ and Emma preparing for bed, the teeth brushing and the hugs, and the last minutes of coloring a picture crayon red, I post a photo of Sara and I smiling in the Zagreb sunshine. Jay writes ‘Balkan beauties’ in the tag line and my heart swells likes the bread dough that rises through the night and spills onto the counter by morning.
Balkan.I know what that feels like.
It feels like walking through the colors of Europe’s oldest continuously operating open air market.
It feels like picking out your vegetables and watching the woman measure her income in a dizzying dance of weights that have known more years than you can count.
It sounds like the toothless grin of an apple vendor who calls to you, ‘Хей Българка’, (Hey Bulgarian woman) because he heard the Bulgarian nudge its way into your conversation about how to cook the Japaneese pumpkins.
It smells like the fresh meat hanging from hooks and the meaty butchers smiling as they sharpen their knives.
Balkan. It is the real, the authentic sway and swell of home spilling into the cobblestone streets of centuries of life.
Ahhh. Balkan beauty.