Bieszczady legend

I have fallen up to my ears in the archives of my writing. I browse through the stories, poems and flocks of reflections wandering around in digital catalogues. The soul just smiles seeing me at such work. And although she lives in a different place today, she looks at me through the eyes of a certain portrait (and that story demands to be described and the portrait demands to be depicted).

This time I came across a Bieszczady legend from 18 July 2012. I remember the Bieszczady Angels very well.

“My mountain legend will be about the Bieszczady Angels: Staszek and Zdzisław. The essence of the legend is also that there are unverifiable threads in it. And certainly not by everyone. The angels I am writing about are known to anyone who can spot an angel. And although Staszek and Zdzisław are spotted by many people, not everyone is aware of their heavenly origins.

How did I spot the Bieszczady Angels?

I invite you on a journey through my legend, necessarily Bieszczady.

It all started with my first step on a still sleepy August morning. I stepped out into the cool pre-dawn light of day. There was no sign of the 30-degree heat yet. I was shivering, fondly remembered on the trail in the scorching sunshine. I was greeted by a herd of deer. They did not even honour me with a glance, they were so busy with their breakfast. Instead, I honoured them for a whole 10 minutes. Then I went, and the road ahead of me was a long one.

I went under Tarnica going from Wołosaty via Rozsypaniec and Halicz. It was dark and cold on the trail when I climbed it. Instead, I was descending into a different world. Bustling, lit up and bright and sunny. I decided to do my civic duty to the National Park and walked up to the wooden booth to pay my entrance fee to the park. Admittedly, after the descent. However, at 4am, there was still no one in it. I paid, took the receipt and … the Angel Staszek spoke to me. He spoke in rhyming language. He said that these words were written for him by Mr Kubiak. And so he spoke and rocked, rocked and spoke. My heart listened and rocked and I went on into that bustling and bright sunny world with a rocking heart. And I smiled at everyone. And people stopped me, puzzled me, smiled and asked me what was wrong. And I would send them to Angel Staszek, who sold tickets to … the Bieszczady heaven in a wooden stall.

Angel Staszek has shoulder-length curly hair and warm brown eyes. He decorates his face with a smile and keeps this decoration up from Christmas to Christmas. He has lived his life and is no longer afraid of anything. Not even the devil. However, in this case, he referred me to Angel Zdzisław, who lives in the village of Hoczew and did not even crack at the sight of the devil. His name was Pękalski. Already at the entrance I saw angels and devils, and even Jesus and Mary in a well. The angel himself, Zdzisław, invited me into his pigsty, where he kept holy troughs filled with holy figures. He saw this holiness in the troughs and brought it out into the world. Then he saw the brightness in the burnt-out church of Komańcza. He took the burnt boards and discovered images on them. I saw. And what I did not see, I felt. And although this Angel had no hair, he had the same warm gaze and heart for every person who looked into it, and even the devil. Because when Pękalski meets the devil on the road, he lends him a beer so he doesn’t have evil thoughts.

And that’s my legend, not necessarily Bieszczady, but necessarily angelic.

If you believe, go to meet the legend and “the sky will be over you, like the mountains, and the mountains will be over you, like the sky”.