This is my cousin Anna's home in Korczyna where I stayed last weekend. My cousin Lukasz brought me to his mother's house on Friday where we met up with his wife, two little girls, mother and sister. It was a hot and sultry day in Krakow and I was exhausted and sweaty upon boarding the bus. After 15 minutes of down time, with eyes shut, I was able to talk and laugh with my cousin and take in the beautiful countryside as we drove out of Krakow. The last hour of the ride was particularly magical as the landscape became even more hilly and rural. A thunderstorm had rolled through the area. Lukasz and I were talking about growing roots and connecting to place when I spotted a double rainbow out the window. What a wonderful way to enter the land of my ancestors. We rolled up and down over hills to our destination, Krosno, which is the county seat of Korczyna. What I was seeing, the green hills, huge gardens and orchards, wooded land, cottages and houses looked like home...the ideal homeland that I've been carrying in my heart for a long time. Interestingly, it reminds me a bit of the hills I call home in western Massachusetts.
My grandmother was born in Korczyna. She left this place in 1939 at thirteen.The church is in the center of town with grassy pathways webbing and connecting to people's properties so that it is an easy and pleasant walk to Mass. Huge gardens filled with vegetables and fruit couple with almost every house in the village. Along with her vegetable and flower garden my cousin also has cherry, walnut, apple, elderberry, currants, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries in abundance. I met other relatives, connections to my great-grandmother who had 13 siblings. Descendants of these siblings still inhabit the village in family homes or on family property. I met some of these cousins as we took a walk on Saturday evening and one man pulled out old photos which included photo's of my family....mom, dad, cousins, aunts, uncles...in the Philadelphia area. I don't want to say to much. Now I want to share my pictures with you.
I felt a real connection to this place and was so warmly and graciously welcomed by my family who are also new friends. I will be back there in two weeks to go on a mountain hike and visit more with family.