Diary of War

24 March 2022

Day twenty-nine

Vesna [Chișinău, Moldova]

Sunlight shines through the blinds 

The war started exactly one month ago. Bombs continue to fall on Mariupol every 10 minutes, but I’m no longer there. I’m no longer in Ukraine, but in the Republic of Moldova. Once out of Mariupol, we got food and water from the Ukrainian army. They even allowed me to charge my phone at one of the shelters. A million messages and updates came in, mostly from my friends, some from distant relatives. None from my mother. I texted my aunts and uncles—even though I don’t know them that well. That’s how I ended up taking a bus to Chișinău to join my aunt Oksana. 

Everyone here is afraid Russia will target them next. They all have prepared their own go bag: big plastic bags with checkerboard patterns, the ones they sell at the market. They’ve had time to prepare here. The bags have money, heirlooms to trade, medicine, clothes, school diplomas, vaccination cards, knives and canned food. But I’m most jealous of the family pictures they’ve selected to put in there. 

It’s spring, and that’s exactly what my name—Vesna—means. But my body and heart feel cold. What is spring if you can’t share it with your loved ones?