Trip Down The Memory Lane
Updated: Aug 31
Summer holidays on Polish farm.
Oh my heart, those roses in New Farm park 🌹 My heart opens whenever I see them. And they smell so divine! Each colour has a very different and distinct sent. The smell of the red one on the photo reminded me of my maternal Grandma... her garden, rose jam and cake... and idyllic (or perhaps now idealized by nostalgic memories☺️) summers at Polish countryside🌲
Babcia Stefcia, my late maternal Grandmother. She loved nature and nature loved her. Notice the flowers in the background, fruits of her devoted and caring work! Looking back I now realize she had a direct connection with the Divine and knew some real magick. I wish I leaned more from her while she was here with us. But I have hope it’s not all gone, as she started to come to me in my dreams.
I come from humble beginnings. Growing up we didn’t have money for fancy holiday and most of summer holidays (about 2 months) I spent with my grandparents while my parents worked.
My parents come from the same village, so I was sharing my summer between the two homes of my grandparents (how lucky was I!?). They both had traditional farms that could have nearly been self-sufficient. They had horses that were used in the fields (prior to tractors) where they grew various grains, cows, pigs, ducks, chickens and rabbits. Cows gave milk, hens laid eggs. The gardens were blooming with flowers and chives (and other herbs) that one could swiftly harvest to garnish the freshly baked in the stone oven bread spread with freshly made butter (from the milk from the cows that were grazing grass around the house). I have a memory of my great great grandma (complicated family history:) who lived with my maternal grandparents, making butter.
The orchards were full of different varieties of apples, cherries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, as well as white, red and black currants. They ripened in a specific order throughout the summer. Me and my cousins used to mash freshly picked strawberries with freshly set cream on top of the milk, to make smoothies. But we made it in an enamel mug (like the one we may use for camping these days) and a fork, rather than a blender. And we called it “koktail”. Koktail in fact is the original Polish word for “smoothie”.
Blueberries and blackberries grew in the nearby forest. So did various mushrooms. And were free and abundant.
There were also various beans, vegetables, root vegetables and potatoes grown in the fields.
I watched my grandma kill a chicken or a rabbit for Sunday lunch. I also watched my granddad and uncles portioning a cow or a pig and making sausages reusing washed intestines.
They even used to make cottage cheese. To keep it cool during the summer it was stored deep in the well (just not submerged in water;)
My mom and my aunts spent their holidays at my grandparents’ helping at the farm and also making preserves from the fruits and vegetables. The best one was the squeezed through a cloth, undiluted raspberry juice. The best remedy against cold Polish winters. Usually added to a tea, but also could be used for desserts or enjoyed straight in small portion.
One of the fondest memories of my children from going to Poland in 2019 was visiting my family who still lives on the farm.
My children with their cousin.
My mum and my daughter♥️
My paternal grandma is over 90 and still in good shape. Living on a farm is not an easy one, but also has its benefits… you cannot but be in tune with the rhythms of nature, which now we learn (or re-learn) how deeply nurturing and sustaining it is. My grandma also lives in a 4 generational house!! That just blows my mind away. How nourishing and supporting it must be for her to be surrounded with her great grandchildren!! I don’t know if I could live this type of lifestyle, but I can see how beneficial it can be for those who feel aligned with it.
Growing up I probably wished I could do more than spend my holiday at my grandparents (though I’d have also usually spent a fortnight at a summer camp to kick off my holiday;), but now I can deeply appreciate what a blessing it was. Nature, books, playing with my cousins, helping on the farm and finding creative endeavours to kill boredom - pure bliss if you ask me today. NB it was a time before the internet and with not much of interest on tv.
RIP and AKAAL to my maternal grandparents and paternal grandfather who have already crossed over🤍
This is a poem I wrote in November 2018, after my Grandma crossed over🤍
With this cup of cacao I bid farewell
To the Wise Woman who left the Earth Plane yesterday
You taught us devotion, hard work and generosity
Passing on love for singing, dancing and community
While feeding us the best home made delicacies
(I’ll never forget your royal rose jam cake)
It’s interesting how things work
As living on the other side of the globe
I’m constantly surprised by scents in my home
That take me right back to yours
Your journey for this life time is compete
You learnt your lessons
You can Rest In Peace
Just today, while I was sweeping my deck before my morning practice, the noise made by my neighbours‘ chooks brought me to my grandparents village.... and then this blog poured through me.