Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Moscow, Russia 1992


Over twenty years ago, this little girl and her dad, entered my heart, and never left. I remember her joy and the song she sang (Калинка, калинка, калинка моя! – Kalinka, kalinka, kalinka moya!)… the smiles, of all those who stopped to listen. The smile her dad had for her, and only her, when she glanced his way… for when she turned back to her audience, his smile slipped away. I can only imagine the anguish… I do not know their story… I do not know their names. I know that times were tough, and that families were doing what they could, to have food on the table and roofs over their heads. I know that they were supporting each other… that neither would have been there as a solo act.

I know that she sang from her heart… for that is what called to me, as I walked the tunnels of the Moscow metro system. It is what called to so many that day. All of us stopping and listening… captivated by this bright spirit, willing to shine in the darkness.

Thinking of her now, I find myself wondering what is the song I am to sing – and who will be behind me, supporting me… smiling, when I glance his way? How will my spirit shine in the darkness? Whose heart will I touch?


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Days Gone By

Days Gone By

The smell of hyacinth always reminds me of the Metro in Moscow, Russia. Are you asking yourself if you read that right =D Yes, I said the smell of hyacinth reminds me of Moscow’s Metro. Here’s why:

I spent a semester abroad teaching children English. It was an extended semester stretching from January to June. As you can imagine, we arrived in the bitter cold of winter. I was prepared for the winter. What I wasn’t prepared for was the delight and warmth of spring and summer.

When I wasn’t teaching the children, I was off visiting classmates, sight-seeing or in class. The family I lived with, lived beyond the last Metro station on the red line – Yugo-Zapadnaya. This meant at least 45 minutes on the Metro (not including the 20 minute bus ride that brought me to the Metro). It was during one of my many commutes that I passed a woman selling flowers… that in and of itself, was not unusual. There was always someone buying flowers to bring to someone… there was always something to buy. What caught my attention was that it was not a bouquet, but a single stem wrapped in cellophane. I recognized it instantly – a hyacinth, one of my favorites. How could I resist? What I hadn’t counted on was the intoxication of its scent as I carried it with me. I would be riding the escalator down to the station and get lost in its scent. I almost missed a connection because I was so transported. Imagine the contrast of smells… an old and well used Metro system packed full with people and a hyacinth… I would spend the next hour enveloped in its scent… forgetting all about the squeezing and shoving that was going on around me… forgetting I was in Moscow…

The smell still transports me… to the Moscow Metro =D

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details inside and out

These are pictures my mother took while she was in Graz, Austria… where I lived until I was seven years old. We moved back to the states over 30 years ago, and yet I still considered Graz my Zuhause… my home. Mom shares this feeling… this longing… this homesickness.

cobblestones and birds

She knows my love of details and my love of Graz… as a birthday present to me, she combined the two. She happened to be in Graz in February. While there, she wandered through Graz taking pictures of things she thought I’d remember or love… she did an AMAZING job. I won’t share all of them here… just a few of her themes!

Semmels. Sueßigkeiten. Blumen. Stoff. Straßenbahn…

When we lived there we were always out shopping for the daily necessities. On and off Straßenbahns, feeding… or I should say chasing pigeons, passing gumball machines, looking for perfect fabrics, walking through parks and checking out flowers… it was always an adventure.

out and about

The things I miss most… because there’s nothing close here in Washington state… village towns with churches and their amazing steeples… Straßenbahns and fortresses… clock-towers and passageways… and HUNDREDS of years of history. This may sound strange, but I can smell Graz when I see theses pictures… it’s as if I am standing in my friend’s shoes… looking out over Graz. Perhaps it is wishful thinking =D

Thanks for all the memories Mom!!

Graz, Austria – as Mom sees it!

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