The reverse trend begins. People from the metropolis flee to distant suburbs, to smaller cities or to the countryside. Those who run away claim that there is something inauthentic and artificial in a big city: a multiplicity that blends into one. Similar streets, similar houses, similar people dressed in clothes from chain stores. Towns - a sense of security, great people and good old rules that still apply. It's hard to get coziness, homeliness and leisureiness in a big cityInhabitants of large cities increasingly prefer to live "far from the road"

Jacek: - For as long as I can remember, my parents were working hard to be rich. They grew up in post-war poverty, so they wanted to spare us that. And we want to save our children a life of fixation only on making money. Two jobs, overtime, stress - it all affects the quality of life. Children are developing badly, marriage is suffering, everything is getting dangerously loop. Together with Magda, we want to live to the golden anniversary of our marriage and raise our children into good, optimistic people - hence the decision to escape from Warsaw. We are both native Warsaw inhabitants, we know life in a big city, we know what we are leaving behind. No special regrets.

We've been preparing for this step for two years. Magda is a kindergarten teacher, I deal with e-commerce, which means I work mainly on the computer. The decision was accidental. Magda was offered a job in Świętokrzyskie and we went there to check it. Two months later, we were the owners of a house for major renovation and a herd of goats, and "in the package" we also got an adoptive uncle.

What is the difference between living in a small town and the one in a metropolis? I don't know what it concerns, but whenever I return home from Warsaw, I take my leg off the gas. Instinctively. Africans say a white man has a watch, but they have time. There is something in it - it's incredible how life has become better, simpler in a wonderful way. We are calmer about children. They come back from school themselves, go with the dogs for a walk in the woods, play with their peers from the neighborhood. Someone always has an eye on them. There is no anonymity that a large city is so proud of. And I want to know people from the area, I want to work with them in the field, garden, celebrate births, mourn leaving. I want to be a part of a small community. Does anyone in a big city feel that way? I doubt it ...

Maria: - At some point in the lives of some of us, the thought comes to our mind: Is this the way it should be? The same work, the same scenery around, gray streets, squares, alleys, the same friends ... I think that such a question is asked by people who are not satisfied with their lives. We lived in the center of Krakow in a flat after my husband's grandparents. Galician townspeople one hundred percent. Work, friends, the whole microworld needed to function, mastered to perfection. And then my husband suffered a widespread heart attack and nothing was as it had been before. The decision to escape was made shortly after Waldek left the hospital. His illness scared him and I fear that I would lose him. He said then: - Don't cry. Do you remember what the Greek man Zorba said? "What a beautiful disaster!" ...

Earlier, we only talked about changing the address, we expressed our dreams loudly about some idyllic-angel place, where the birds' singing could be heard in the morning, which our three sons considered as "raving of the elders".

We knew the direction of the escape, but not the exact address. Our relatives from Lublin showed us a house with an old orchard at the back. It was at the end of a small town that looked like a neglected village. What makes us fall in love with any place? I have no idea. It's something metaphysical. For us, in this ruined house - so overgrown with wild wine that we first searched blindly for an entrance - everything matched: the location, the stone from which it was built, the view from the window to the river, and this orchard ... At nights the sky was so low above us as if the moon was licking the roof. In a word - a fairy tale! We looked at each other with full understanding ...

My husband was already in retirement age, and I quitted my job in an office without any regrets. It was a good time for a change, but the sons raised the alarm anyway. They were concerned, furious, offended, they even threatened to incapacitate us (laughs). After three years, we can't leave them alone. But the beginnings were difficult. It's not like a townsman from a big city is greeted in a small one with open arms ...

We wanted very much - maybe too much - to become a part of the town quickly. And people were wary. Polite, but at a distance. They looked at us from behind the curtains, they watched us. Once someone smashed our window at night. We moved in the summer, so we constantly hosted friends, acquaintances and relatives. And then autumn, rainy weather, early dusk came. Mud around, dark and empty. I thought: What have we done !? We can't stand this desert without one friendly soul, one nice man. It began to snow, people hardly ever left their homes. Life completely died. A parish priest in the town, a friend of our house today, helped us. He spotted us, the new ones, at Mass, then he crashed a party to our house for coffee and thanks to many winter evenings spent on playing chess and conversations together, he explained us what we were doing wrong. We did not know the rules prevailing in such small communities. And the first is: Take your time ...

That is why it was only after two years that we decided that we would set up a small guest house - we would make some money and we would not be alone.

Sebastian: - I come from a small town in Podlasie, from which I escaped after graduating from high school. I lived in Warsaw for 15 years. A typical jar of me. I loved living in a big city - it's about professional, cultural, culinary, social, etc. opportunities. In Warsaw, with a little good will, you'll find a cool job, meet super people, and life is easy enough. Everything colorful, dense with emotions, energetic, always with an idea for tomorrow. I felt like a fish in water. I dealt with advertising in a large company with potential. And now I'm making sheep and goat cheese - not bad, is it?

It is simply safer in the small town, children grow up healthier, have closer relationships with their peers. They can, for example, play for hours outdoors, enjoy outside activities, which is rather difficult in the city. I think the value system is changing quite significantly. I'm not saying that money is irrelevant, but it is no longer the content of our lives. We don't talk constantly about how to earn some extra money, but we talk about our feelings, emotions, everyday matters, joys and fears. Was it impossible in Warsaw? Of course it was possible, only there we thought that such a leisurely life was a waste of time. A big city always gives you the feeling that if you're not in a hurry, life leaks through your fingers, you irreversibly lose something important. And that's not true. The decision to change the address is, however, the one from the strategic genre - you have to be fully convinced that it is doing well. Otherwise it won't work, because it's a bit like jumping from a springboard into shallow water.


„Niedziela” 37/2019

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: