The Day of Kyiv, and My Place of Strength

in #beautifulsunday4 months ago (edited)


The circumstances notwithstanding, it was a good day. I have been planning such a one-day trip for a long time. I wish to spend at least half a day outside the city just with my husband. He is stronger than me but just a human who also needs to rest once in a while. A few times, I chose an open place where you can just sit in silence and look into the distance. Planned and canceled. C'est la vie.


Yesterday, once again, we decided to go out of town. This time we chose the farthest place we could go for a day to get back to curfew.

At night I woke up to the sound of an explosion. This time I heard more than just crunching windows. The bed beneath me shuddered, and the alarms of several cars parked outside went off. I checked my phone. There was no air alert. Before that, I had a good dream, and I really wanted to go back to it, but I couldn't fall asleep because of disturbing thoughts. What did it explode? The sounds of engines could be heard outside the window. I was indignant in my mind - who is driving at night during the curfew? What a mess!...

When I woke up, it was almost 12 noon. I overslept! It turned out that the sounds of engines and explosions I heard are a night attack by drones. 59 of barrage ammunition Russia launched across Ukraine. 36 of them flew at Kyiv and all were shot down! Our Armed Forces are the best. This is the moment when you are grateful to them that you can live on.

So. To go or not to go? My hubby said - let's go. This trip had to happen.


On the way, we listened to old and new songs dedicated to Kyiv. Today, on the last Sunday of May, Kyiv celebrates its "birthday". It's called a Day of the City and is usually the day the city was founded or acquired status. Sometimes this date is dedicated to some historical event or regional holiday.

I moved here in 2008 and it took me a long time to get used to it. It was painful to watch as day by day everything Ukrainian disappeared here - songs, traditions, language, memory. That's what I thought, that's what I saw. If it weren't for my husband, I wouldn't be able to live here. Over the years, I got used to it, but still did not fully accept, did not understand this city. After February 24, everything changed. I feel a part of it, a city of which I am now very proud.

But we spent today in our place of strength. We ignored the navigator's advice and went along the usual route. We had to go around a lot, because the path passed by a strategic object that Russia is constantly trying to hit, and the passage was closed.

At first, a tank track sang under the wheels (that's what we call the sound of tires when you drive on a track where tanks used to drive a year ago), and then only the sun, the wind, the fragrance of flowers and the singing of birds. And a lot of sun.



Closer to the destination, the country road narrowed. Sometimes grasses and bushes occupied almost half of the width. And at the very end, the road became narrow even for one car. We drove slowly so as not to collide with oncoming traffic, and it seemed that the car was completely immersed in the green tunnel.

New Ukrainian songs were playing on the radio. The start of the war provoked a frantic demand for everything Ukrainian.

Before the war, at the beginning of May, Nick and I often went to Odessa to see the acacia blossom. Its aroma combined with the smell of the sea is something special. I loved this visit right before the beach season, before the city turns into a hot, noisy beehive. Every year at the beginning of the month, my former colleague from Odesa called me and said: "It's time, our acacia is starting to bloom." Our little traditions, broken into pieces.



In fact, there are a lot of acacias in Kyiv too. And here, where I was today, they are everywhere, late and early varieties, and extremely fragrant. I wanted to absorb these aromas with my skin, hair...

Before, I didn't notice that the hemlock grows here. Now is its flowering period.


Our walking route is usually quite long, nearly 10 km one way. But today we were in no hurry. It was a day for feet but for mind and soul. We sat for a while on the sand near the river. I just wanted to feel the ground with my bare feet. To feel the temperature of the water, to remember what it's like to stand barefoot on stones in the water or on the warm sand, walk on soft grass. To catch wind waves and sunbeams with your face.




I don't know how long it lasted. We listened to the sound of the waves, watched the flying birds, the green sea of grass and the blue waves of the Dnieper. Living in such a place, you can become a philosopher or a poet.


On the way back I think we felt the same. It was a real reboot. We didn't talk much. It seemed we could talk to each other without words. And when we returned, Nick said: THANK YOU. And I knew why.😉


The end


Waking up to explosions then heading out to chill in the sun. What a surreal life that has been imposed upon you, and millions of others.

Before, after a night like yesterday or today, my whole day was wasted, and my spirit was down for a couple of days. So, I am glad I afapted, and want to live on, to do something in the morning. But I'am very much looking forward to our victory, and for all those bastards to pay the bills.

I keep listening to same Ukrainian songs, so it's good to hear that they are new ones as I will look for them.

I'm happy that you had such a beautiful day with Nick 😍 Even though it didn't start good with the explosion. Your photos are beautiful.

Sending hugs and kisses 😘🤗

I keep listening to same Ukrainian songs, so it's good to hear that they are new ones as I will look for them.

Wow, that's sooo great!! You know, after the Russian invasion in 2014, quotas for Ukrainian performers were introduced on the radio. And many people were pleasantly shocked by how many fantastic songs we have, a head higher than the Russian crap that was played all the time. Even bad things can be turned into something good.

Thank you so much for your comment. You are in my thoughts 💛

Such beautiful stills... curiously I've been filming for a song about resilience and takes the grass as examples of adaptability "don't bend, don't break, just sway". You are facing strong winds but staying tender at spirit and enjoying the beauty of the world, you'll endure the strong gusts of winds. By the way learning my second song in Ukrainian, I know I mispronounce

but soon I'll venture with my second song in this language

This is gorgeous! You have a very beautiful and tender voice! And your pronunciation is very good 👍👍👍
Did you choose the second song already?

Yes, I'm half way through but it's proving to be more complicated to pronounce for me than this one. I recorded a draft. Of course I don't intend to pronounce perfectly but I want to be at least legible. I recorded a draft and need to delve listening to more folk music so I get the "vibe" of the sound at least. I always try to be respectful to these details when I cover a traditional. The next Ukrainian song I've chosen is the lullaby Ой ходить сон

Great choice! The first thing that comes to my mind is this version from Kvitka Cisyk, she is an American singer of Ukrainian origin with a magic voice ❤️

Thank you, my version is pretty mich a capella with a baltic psaltery, I will use that one among others as reference, hope to get it done by summer

Good luck! ❤️

I always admire your strength, your devotion, and your love for life and living. For the day to start with explosions and carry on with your plans is amazing... for "What choice do you have?" Many. But, you choose to live. Stay and fight for what is yours and keep going.

You have no idea how many thoughts and prayers go out to you and all of Ukraine. God bless you all.

Your beautiful day is made even lovelier in your appreciation of it.❤️

You asked me in a comment if I was going to Hivefest this year I lost the comment, but, I am looking at it. I hope you and Nick are doing well! Love to you!

I always admire your strength, your devotion, and your love for life and living. For the day to start with explosions and carry on with your plans is amazing...

You just belong to the kindest part of humanity 💛 But yet it is a good example of what I discussed with friends this weekend. How people outside of Ukraine see the situation. Some see strength, courage, devotion, and others see ... it's like "people a resting, cinemas and restaurants are opened, there's no war there". I do not condemn them. It's funny but a year ago I was almost the same. My psyche and assessment of the situation have come a long way in the last year and a half. We have all changed a lot. I hope that the most important thing in me has remained unchanged.

You asked me in a comment if I was going to Hivefest this year

Yeah, a year ago. And when I saw the place for this year HF was announced, I thought "Well, this year Denise should attend it". :D I probably won't be able to come but I still wish I could meet you in person one day, and to thank you for all the support you show to me and all Ukrainians. XOXO


This is why I find you such a kind person. Even in the worst of times, you still pull out the nice card. You find reasons, if only for yourself. I am not sure why people think the way they do. I am not sure why, but, some people fail to understand that in war, peace, birth, death... you have to live in between. You have to eat, bathe, go to church, and yes! Work. You must continue or die along with the war. At some point, there needs to be normalcy... it is like having cancer and dying before death. You have to rise above it and live, even if it is with it. Carrying on, making it as normal as possible.

Sorry to go on and on... I hope you are having a good week. Spring is in the air~ xo


You are really brave and I always say that. The news now gives me hope that soon I will be able to return to Kharkiv, I don't feel sad about it anymore, instead, I see the hope of going back home. I am happy that Nick and you finally manage to spend alone time far away from chaos. It was necessary for both of you...

Brave, or silly, or crazy... I'm a little tired of being afraid. Let it be what will be.

I don't feel sad about it anymore, instead, I see the hope of going back home.

I am so happy to hear that! And looking forward to meet you in Ukraine XOXO

I'm glad you guys are still safe there and able to get around to do your things

Well, what are our choices? )

You two are strong when together, so happy to see you enjoying the day

Thank you 😊

Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Week 158 of my contest just can now check the winners of the previous week!

Thank you, dear pix ❤

Beautiful story.
The pic of the two of you shows how you feel.

@zirochka! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @myjob. (6/10)

The tip has been paid for by the We Are Alive Tribe through the earnings on, feel free to swing by our daily chat any time you want.

Thank you 🙏

Currently everything seems to be a betterment but however I don't know all about that deeply, yess it was a good vibe to drive like this.

Have a safety trip!

The situation has not improved. On the contrary, in May shelling of Kyiv became more massive and frequent. But people here have adapted more or less... It is impossible to be constantly afraid

such a wonderful tale, you both look so happy and peaceful, a million miles from the illegal invasion
Slava Ukraini

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