People watching in Warsaw

How fun to sit here this afternoon in the heart of Warsaw, where the people live and socialize. I am sitting along a street called Nowy Swiat, translation, New World.
The street is so alive with a solid continuous stream of people walking along this long avenue of commerce. I love seeing mothers and daughters walking holding hands as my mother was inclined to do with me. But I thought that was weird. I sit here listening to the language that I hear in suburban Chicago everyday but I feel I am eaves dropping on their conversations when I am there. The language is the same but hearing it around me here lends a special feel, an energy, and excitement. Here they all speak the same language. There is no feeling that I am eaves dropping.

The other feeling that I have that can not escape me is drawing a parallel to a vibrant city such as I see today and the city months before the invasions in September 1939. Warsaw, the capital, the cultural heart of the nation, the place where financial and political decisions were made. I can only imagine that the city was active and electric during the months leading up to devastation. People living their lives, going to work and shopping, taking children to school and out for ice cream. All I see that would be different from then to now is the clothing and the fact that today, this city has over the years been rebuilt from total ruin. 1938 to 2014 the changes have been dramatic but the spirit is the same. However the event of 1939 changed lives in a heart beat, with no turning back the carnage and suffering.
My closing thought is, one can never take their freedom for granted. It is not always a given when you think of the crisis in the Ukraine and Poland is on their border. I live in the United States and expect that to be my right. I am the lucky one.

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