Out of all the months in the year, the longest for me is November. It is such a nostalgic and melancholic time. Trees without leaves, grey sky, early twilight - it is not a Polish golden Autumn anymore, but there is still a long way to go before we can celebrate warmly Christmas with the family.


All Saint's Day in November induces reflections and dwelling on the past. Its heroes are for me not only my closest relatives who have passed away. Every year on one of the November weekends we go to the Military Graveyard Powązki. At that time we try to remind our ever-growing children about Poland's important people. We want to come to a stop for a minute by places which memorialize these who passed away defending what was important for them and also for us.


I think that apart from dressing our children, feeding them and sending them to good schools, this is one of the most important roles which the passing of time imposes on us parents. The young generation luckily has not seen or experienced certain things, and not everyone has grandfathers who are tangible proof of fighting and passing history. History lessons at school present cold facts which once learned fly away too fast from young heads. Much more is said by straight brown crosses, grassy graves and nameplates with age descriptions of scouts from "Szare Szeregi". "Mom, they were only a few years older than I am now...."


Every year we read and tell them the history of the Katyń Valley Monument, pointing out that Poland was not always a free country, in which the truth is a superior value, adding that Poland's independence of that time was in name only. The multitude of lights burning by the Monument for those Murdered in Concentration Camps also make a deep impression.


I have read an article about Stephen Hawking's new project intensifying the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Scientists plan to use Green Bank from the US and Parkes from Australia, the biggest telescopes in the world, to scan an area of outer space that is ten times bigger than any area explored before. This project will engage many scientists and will cost millions of US Dollars. The project is supported by the British astronomer, Martin Rees, and the Russian businessman, Yuri Milner, the latter of which handed over 100 million dollars for the project.


Every time I read or hear about such activities I have two thoughts which quarrel inside my head and cannot be reconciled. From one side I think that it is great that humankind makes scientific progress and that such geniuses as Hawking exist, since without them we would not have any progress or many useful things. Today such people discover the cosmos and its opportunities, whereas once they worked on the light bulb, penicillin or the discovery of new lands.


No doubt these are positive and worthwhile activities. I only have some doubts about the cost and the ultimate goal. It would be easier for me to accept a search for new places in the universe where humankind could produce food or relocate in a crisis. I do not understand the point of a goal where we should find another civilization in the universe whatever the cost. It would be good if we managed to find some allies, but what would happen if we found enemies – a more developed civilization with a hostile approach towards aliens?



Have your children got their favourite dishes? Maybe you have perfect children who eat everything you put on the plate, but my children aren’t like that. If I cooked only the dishes they like, I would serve green pea soup or red borscht with meat-stuffed ravioli (in Poland we call them "small ears") and spaghetti for my daughter, and meatballs with buckwheat groats for my son. A varied and balanced diet...

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