#1 of 12 things I’ve learnt living 12 months in Poland
We’re trying a new technique 😉 Rather than posting one mega article that’s just too long to read, we’re going to feed you this one in bite-sized pieces across a summer/winter (depending what hemisphere you’re reading from!) series – hopefully keeping you hungry for more! The series is a reflection piece Wendy put together looking back on her first year living in Poland: ’12 things I’ve learnt living 12 months in Poland’. Smacznego!
Tuesday, November 1st, 2016: Poles flocked to the cemeteries to place candles on the graves of the departed and reflect on life, death, loss and love. On All Saints Day, a national holiday, these sites of grey stones, narrow passageways and quiet resting are transformed into bustling hubs of family meetings, large floral displays and as the afternoon darkness of night settles, the twinkle of thousands of candle lights to mark each life with memory. The smell of melted wax is thick and sweet on the air, escaping from the gaudy, modern plastic lanterns, in the competition to see who’s relative’s grave will have the candle burning the longest.
While I don’t have graves of relatives to visit here, the day was also a time of reflection for me, as it marks one year since I crossed the border from Belarus into the country that I’d travelled half the world over without a plane to reach. I’ve lived in Poland one year now – a whole 4 seasons getting ready to repeat their turns. So let me think a little about what I’ve learnt in this time, in this place…