Visiting the Dutch Countryside

We are visiting the Netherlands; birding and hiking in the low lands, visiting villages and the countryside where our ancestors lived. We talk about past generations. What a wonderful stories we, three generations, share and pass on to the youngest generation. Sometimes our ancestors feel close, as if you can turn a corner or pass a group of trees and they will be there. In my mind’s eye, I see a group of men, pre-WWII dressed, joyfully cycling on old bicycles to their work. In my mind’s eye, I see great-grandmothers knitting behind old windows of antique, beautiful houses in well preserved towns. Maybe they still are there; we feel their kindness and beneficial wisdom. Maybe they shape-shift and come as buzzards that enchantingly fly over us or as elegant swans swimming towards the horizon in a sun-set coloured brook. We walk between fields of cereals. I hate to see the expansion of factory farming (knowing of the animal suffering inside these too large stables) but I thank farmers for growing healthy looking crops. The wind dances over fields of young oat stalks. Should I read a message in the silvery patterns that is written by the playing wind? Perhaps the message simply is thankfulness.

………en in de geweldige ruimte verzonken de boerderijen verspreid door het land, boomgroepen, dorpen, geknotte torens, kerken en olmen in een groots verband…..

(H. Marsman, Herinnering aan Holland)

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Artist, Author & Expat

‘Birds, Butterflies, Fish & Botany’


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