Speaking In Polish will be a regular feature for me in 2023. In it, I plan to explore my Polish roots through poetry, folklore and family stories. I hope you enjoy.
I often remind myself that the first language I learned with my grandmother was Polish. Yet, it wasn’t really until this last year that I realized how much I really crave speaking it.
When I started to research a personal pilgrimage to the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, those moments where we would sit and she would teach me Polish rushed in. So, I began a journey to learn the mother language. I sat down to write about it recently:
Finding my voice through languages is a really powerful experience.
It has already been that way for me with French. My dad tells great stories about his own grandmother who never spoke anything but French to him. To this very day, he retains it. I started to learn that language about three years ago. Speaking it for me is about honoring my heritage. To have working knowledge and the ability to communicate in both languages has become so important. Let’s be real, it is going to be a darn long time before I am truly fluent and speaking in Polish or French. However, the learning is the magic for me.
It’s also a bit of a daydream. Travel to Poland has been in the works for me for a while, but the pilgrimage plans really solidified the commitment. It’s a part of a much larger project related to the ancient great mothers and, of course, the Sibyls. My hope is to, one day, visit all of the Sibyl sites in the world.
For now, I look forward to standing in the cathedral at Częstochowa one day relatively soon and turning to a lovely person to say, “Dziękuję pani.”
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