It may have a lot of different reasons, but still May has always been one of my favourite months. Apart from the fact that this is the period of the year when it is the most visible that everything is completely covered in green and you can see and smell the flowers everywhere, it also represents a special kind of balance and harmony in my eyes.
It is neither too cold anymore or too hot yet and you can already feel the summer vibes in the air, but in the same time it is the classical picture that definitely comes to our minds when someone mentions the spring. Taking into account the long-running story of the coronavirus pandemic and the home quarantine which seem to come to an end, this month has an even more symbolic meaning to many people and brings us back something familiar that we had all been missing a lot.
Although here in Czech Republic we might have noticed the effects of the situation earlier than other countries, I have to admit that now we are lucky in terms of coping with the issue, so I am extremely glad that I did not have to cancel my program and can go ahead towards my next adventures.
As the sun is shining more and more and the days are getting longer, the life in Ostrava is on its way towards the rebirth, and you can find more and more faces on the streets, while the shops have started being open as well. Of course it is still important to follow some restrictions and rules, but we all know that the hope of the fresh beginning many of us had been dreaming of has finally become true.
Return to work itself had created a lot of ambivalent feelings in my heart, and just a couple of days before restarting everything it was a really big challange to reset my mind and try to remember how the things used to be. First of all somehow I was still concerned about the medical situation but I was sure that once if the leisure centre had opened again it would be sure that it was safe for us with the least possible risk.
In the same time I was also looking forward to see all the lovely people I met there including childrens, collegues and many others. I was also doubting a little bit if we could indeed be useful and able to get used to the different circumstances, but in the end it worked out quite well. Altough everything was a bit weird and unexpected for the first time, I could get exactly the same kind of warm welcome as always before, so after a couple of minutes I felt like if we had not had a break at all and I was really eager to have social and human interactions again in my life.
The last period gave me a lot of chance to focus on my personal growth, for instance my art and idividual obejctives, while I could also have more freetime to think about my future aims just like I had imagined my volunteering before. Inspite of the difficulties our organization also did its best in order to keep us motivated and busy: this way we started having online conversations both in English and our native languages to help the interested people practice them or we had occasional tasks like working in the garden of the parish house or sewing masks in the office. Besides that we organized events for ourselves and made a lot of plans during our brainstormings to use the time on the best possible way and support each other or those in need.
Since I am a huge fan of hiking I was really looking forward to see the wonders of the spring in Czechia that provides a lot of opportunities to have beautiful encounters with the wild life. Unfortunately the only great chance for me to meet the spirit of the nature was a trip with the children to the Beskides back in October, and apart from that I could only go to the forest close to the dormitory or hang around in the parks and playgrounds where we usually pass by and stop with the kids when we had the cycling workshops. Actually the most fantastic thing is the fact that my job means now not only responsability, but more chance for these trips to participate, so going to Don Bosco regularly again has become even more benefitial for me than I had thought.
There is no wonder that the month May in Czech is called květen which comes from the word květ ('flower'), because I cannot remember a lot of places where I could see so many different shapes, sizes and colors of flowers or a place that turned compeltely to green within such a short period of time. Even though I am living in a large industrial city, I do not even have to go to the nature intentionally because it finds me everywhere - no matter if I am in the centre or the suburbs and if I go for a few minutes or a longer walk. Here is also a fun fact: the equivalent word in Polish means not May, but April (in Czech: duben, refering to the oaks), which shows very clearly how important the relationship between nature and humans is in this whole region.
I could already have a unique perspective of the special symphony of trees, leaves, creeks, brooks and even some wild animals of the country, but I have still got a lot to experience: the highest peak of Ostrava, Halda Ema, the area of lakes on the south and some mountains of Moravia-Silesia are on my bucket list for sure. My latest adventure that was totally inspired by the moment was to have a walk in the small streets close to the part of the city called Radvanice, which let me have the opportunity to examine the Czech countryside with many of its characteristics, and to be honest, even though I am quite comfortable with living in a city, somehow I needed some time alone to feel the atmosphere of the villages again, all together with its tiny, lovely houses and mysterious but friendly yards.
Since that trip reminded me to my home area and county, it was full of nostalgy, because the landscape and the species are very similar to the ones of Hungary, but in the same time looking at this world through my new eyes could make it different and something exotic in this case I had never seen before, just as I have experienced that with the local people and culture.
I guess we all need these islands of peace from time to time, and maybe our ways of looking for it are not the same, but their roots are surely related to the simplicity and intimacy of the nature that can always regenerate or recreate our existence - and this is definitely a gift I am going to take with myself after the end of my almost one year long journey here.