The old country

by Danny Zawacki

Sometimes I have dreams at night about people and places in Ukraine. They seem to be some of my most vivid dreams. I don’t usually remember my dreams, which is why these really stand out. I wake up, and the feeling of the dream really sticks with me. I wake up and feel sad.

I never in a million years would have guessed that my time in Ukraine would have had such an impact on me. I knew I would change but I didn’t think I would wake up four years later feeling homesick. I didn’t think I’d wake up longing to see my friends, colleagues, and students. But I do, and I imagine I will for some time. Ukraine has permanently nestled itself in my mind.

I’m not unhappy with my life, far from it, but part of me wishes things hadn’t ended over there. It was such a formative time of life and I had such fun with great people. People who taught me more than I taught them, I’m sure. And it’s hard to think that I may never see any of them again. Even a couple summers ago I found out one of my students was in America, only an hour drive away. I could have went to visit but I didn’t. Looking back, I think I was afraid that visiting her would have shattered something that couldn’t be repaired. It might have changed how I view and feel about Ukraine, and that scares me.

So having a dream last night about Ukraine has set the tone for the day. I’m going to be a bit off, I guess. Maybe I’ll see if I can connect with Lyuda online, just to say hello.


One thought on “The old country

  • taplatt

    I also have Ukraine dreams not infrequently and wake up feeling somewhat bittersweet. Glad I’m not the only one who looks back on our service as formative and pretty darn great.

    Reply

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