By Oksana Shavarska
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
If I were asked, even last September, if I love Ukraine, I would have said “No!”
[Because] I hated this country altogether. And for what would I love it? I visited Europe, I saw how everything is there. And I did not understand for what would I love this wretchedness under the name of “Ukraine.” No, I did not love [it].
If, only a year ago, I’d been told that I would fall in love with this country – I would not have believed it. But that is how love comes nonetheless, it comes when you least believe or hope for it.
I never thought that one day I would be considering my identity within the context of this country’s history. I could not even imagine that a silver trident on my neck would be dearer to me than all the diamonds in the world. For this trident is not just a decoration. It is a symbol of my love for the country in which I was born, this is my personal [good luck] charm. I very much love the Ukrainian language, I worship my fellow countrymen, I think these are the [most] unique people [out there]. I am proud of them. Of you.
And even now, when I, just like most other people, suffer from the economic crisis, I am not discouraged [by it], I continue to live and think, “My country is sick with a serious illness, but we will surely save her. Everything will pass, and this too shall pass as well.”
I remembered all the prayers that I was taught as a child, because sometimes when I hit rock bottom, all that remains – is to pray to the Universe, so that the best people of my country would stop dying, so that my land would be finally left in peace, so that no animal would prevent me from living and breathing freely.
This will likely never be understood by anyone who did not live through last winter exposed to the bitter sky of Kyiv. But whatever happened then, I am grateful for that winter … I am grateful to her for making a human being out of me. And who I was before that – I do not remember anymore. And I do not want to remember.
Source: Oksana Shavarska FB