This is an excerpt from “Jadwiga’s Crossing” novel devoted to Polish immigration to America. The story was told to the children to keep their patriotic feelings alive during the time when Poland lost its independence. This beautifully written, meticulously researched work is a must-read not only for Polish-Americans, but for all readers who are interested in learning about the challenges and joys of the trans-Atlantic crossing made by millions of European immigrants in the late nineteenth century. Richard and Aloysius Lutz have written a compelling tale about the hardships encountered by a group of poor Polish immigrants, viewed through the eyes of newlyweds Paul and Jadwiga Adamik. Readers are introduced to Poles and Polish folklore from several regions of then-partitioned Poland, as well as the tensions that existed between Poles and the three nations that occupied Poland in the nineteenth century: Prussia, Russia, and Austria.
“Everyone knows that in the beginning the only stars in the sky were the ones God created for Himself and His angels to see. They were very high in the sky, and no one living on the Earth could see them.
But then God, because He was very kind, made stars for people to see, as well. He made special stars for each country, so the French had stars of their own, and the Russians, and the Germans. God had given the people of Poland so much sky – more than any other nation- that He decided that they need only one star, because they could see all the stars of all the other nations in their big sky. (…)
It was very lonely for the Polish star, especially when the stars of other countries began to act superior because they were so many more of them. It was so lonely that sometimes she cried, but very quietly so that God would not hear. But after a while, it was so sad for the Polish star that she could not shine anymore.
Of course God noticed this right away, so he walked over to the Polish star, and they had a talk. The lonely Polish star told God everything that was troubling her. About being so lonely, and having no other star to play with, and no one to talk with. What she said made God so sad that He cried too.
God said to the lonely Polish star, “You must be patient, little one, and one day you will be given a tack to carry out for me that will make up for all your tears.”
So now the Polish star stopped her tears, and she waited patiently as God told her she must. She was still a sad little star, but she knew that God would remember her, so she wept no more.
And finally there came a special day when God summoned before Him all the stars of all sizes and nationalities. There was a Great Mission to be assigned. None of them knew what the mission was to be, but all wanted to be chosen. So all the stars crowded about the throne of God, each one trying to outshine the others so as to be noticed by God.
God stepped down from his throne, and walked up and down the line, looking at each od the stars. They were all very quiet and very good, hoping and hoping that God would chose them. Except that down near the end of the line, there was a commotion. (…) God saw that it was his own special Polish star, so small that she had to jump about and peek around the other stars to get a look at Him. (…)
God went back to His throne, and He took His seat. And then He said, “You, tiniest little star, little Polish star, you come here to My throne”.
And God spoke especially to her, but all the other stars heard, too. He said, “Because you have been so patient, and so good, and have never doubted the promise I made to you, your time has come. The Great Mission shall be entrusted to you. You, among all the stars in My heaven will be the one remembered by all the peoples for all time.”
“It is you”, God sad to her, “who is chosen to lead to lead the Wise Men to Bethlehem, where My Son shall be born. You will shine more brilliantly than any other star in the skies, and you will be known for all the ages as The Star of Bethlehem”.
This is why the Christmas Eve is so special for all Polish people – because it is the time of their special star that leads them to the Baby Jesus. ”
I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did…Read the whole book if you have a chance, it is very good.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)