Although it’s not particularly catchy, “Picnic of the generations” was a fitting name for our community’s excursion last Saturday to Piaseczno, a town on the outskirts of Warsaw. It’s a good name, because at least three generations (maybe four, though, depending on how you count) of us took part in it: Our special guests, the elderly folks from the Solec nursing home that our community visits every week (maybe four, though); our still-young community people and two of the newest Sant’Egidio members – my Emilka and Ewa and Marcin’s Olga, both born just over three months ago (and just four days apart).
Despite the heavy clouds that hung over Warsaw in the morning, when our picnic started it was a warm (but not overly hot) day with lots of sunshine. When it ended, almost immediately a huge storm broke out. It was nice of God to be so accomodating. Perhaps he knew what a fun picnic it would’ve been.
There was good food (with lots of homemade cakes), we talked, played charades (some people were suspiciously guessing the, even when they were very obscure Polish proverbs), and even made abstract, Jackson Pollock-esque paintings using an interesting technique (basically, by rolling a ball dipped in paint).Then of course there was time for dinner and a Sant’Egidio movie about Pope Francis’ and our community’s mission regarding elderly people. It was surprisingly not boring, and even a little moving.
The real stars of the picnic were the babies. We introduced our Emilka to everyone, and our eldelry friends were overjoyed at seeing and talking to her. She seemed to enjoyed it too. It was nice to see how much joy such a simple meeting produced – for everyone, because who doesn’t like to hear the complements lavishe on your child. Especially when someone, like pani Lucyna, kept insisting that she looked like her father (me), and this is apparently a good sign, since she also looked like her father and she has always been lucky and happy. Just like at our picnic. She was all smiles all the time and simply couldn’t get enough of us.
As with all Sant’Egidio things, the picnic ended with a prayer, led by Ola, who bravely organized the whole event and gave a very good commentary on the Gospel about Anne and Joachim. And just as the prayer ended, and the guests departed for their homes, the sky again filled with black clouds. And a big thunderstorm broke out.