Garden magic

I walk to the far end of the garden, where the hedge meets the grass. Its branches, untouched for two years, droop down gently in a green, cascading waterfall. Now and then they ripple in the breeze.

In a few weeks, the hedge will be cut into a straight rectangle. It will be a bland, boring old lady, all prunes and prisms.

Now it is a kind friend. A friend who knows all the secrets of the garden, and will reveal them to a select few. She hides bugs, and bird nests. She protects children from colds winds and makes safe corners.

The grass is long, gone into seed. It looks like a meadow wanting to be played in, waiting for someone to lie down in its green carpet. Soft yet tickling, with little bugs exploring grass and the bodies or books on it.

Buttercups and daisies are sprinkled randomly, where the fairies wanted them most.

When I get up, it wants to remember a little longer that I was there. It keeps the imprint I made and then slowly lets it go. So slow I almost miss it, the grass sways back up, to dance in the breeze for a little longer.

It, too, will be cut. In just two hours, Mike will drive a roaring machine over the waving grass, the buttercups and daisies will be mercilessly shaved down in favor of a lawn with evenly cut grass. Hiding it’s character under a fashionable dress that doesn’t really fit it.

But so a garden must be.

The sky will be just as blue, the bird will resume it’s song after the noise of the knives fades away. But the magic and the fairies will have gone.

There is, undeniably, something neat and clean and fresh about the garden now, after the grass was cut. Something that invites to look, but not wander.

I understand the garden now. I can master it. It is harboring no more fairy tales and secrets.

when life is not idyllic

Last year, we went to the Hallerbos. It is, as I told Abel, the place where fairies live. Every morning, before anybody else is awake they pick up their little buckets of glittery water and clean all the flowers until they shine.

I had been stalking the Hallerbos website for almost six weeks now, waiting until the Hyacinths would bloom. Then one Friday late in April we went, and I was quite excited about it.

The year before had been sunny and warm, we had picnicked and it was beautiful. Even though we did get a little lost and the walk took us a lot longer then planned.

So we parked at another parking lot, hoping it was […]

10 good things about rain

It’s spring. And although spring came with sunshine and clear blue skies, some of the sunshine is making way for rainy days.But if I tell Abel that there are always good things to be found even in really bad days, I must find some good things about rain. Otherwise I would be lying, and I couldn’t possibly face him when he is 20 if I lie to him at 5. He’s quite the grudge holder, and could grow up to be a lawyer or a salesman. Someone who can take whichever point of view he pleases and then proceed to tell you why he is right in a very convincing way.So who ever said rain is terrible?I did. I […]

Because sometimes, we don’t “get over it”

I’m a list-maker. I just love making lists.

I love that feeling of putting a check beside a line, of crossing out a line. It gives me a thrill.

When it comes to dealing with the though stuff of life, I want to put it in a list too. I want to deal with it and get it over with so that I can put a check beside that line.

But it just so happens to be that you can’t deal with everything by throwing it in a list and checking it of. A pity.

I started writing baby names in my journal when I was 13.

99% of them girl names.

I made it my mission to repeat […]

When you wonder when you will find yourself

A myth persists that as a child we grow up and develop a character, as a teenager we discover who we truly are so that by the time we are adults we are ready to step out into the world with self-confidence, ready to be who we are out there.

And then we don’t find out who we are and we don’t feel very grownup and we think our life has started of without us.

What we don’t realize fully, what flutters evasively just out of reach? Is that we are who we are and have been all along. We change and we keep changing.Discovering that you enjoy something when you are 30 doesn’t mean that you didn’t fully […]

Een foto zegt niet altijd 1000 woorden

In the evening I sit on the steps that go from the kitchen down to the living room, and I want to take a picture.

For Instagram, you know. This moment is perfect, and I want to remember it. If perfect food goes on Instagram, shouldn’t perfect moments?

Because there is Mike, with Caleb on his feet, dancing to Billy Joel’s Piano Man.

Gabriel jumps from couch to couch to coffee table.

Abel dances around his daddy and two brothers, running and skipping.

But Caleb’s worn out sweatpants are sagging down. His t-shirt is dirty. Then there’s Gabriel who still has a considerable amount of food on his face, with a generous helping of snot wiped over and around it.

[…]

The unaesthetical Christmas tree

After 10 years of Christmas Trees being forbidden, they were welcome in our house again. In 17-year-old enthusiasm I attacked the tree.

It would be gorgeous. And perfect. And totally awesome.

My 8-year-old sister agreed but dear me, did she ever have different ideas of gorgeous then I did!

For some reason, someone thought it was a good idea to give her a gigantic, flashy pink and yellow heart and my sister believed it to be an ornament for the tree no matter how many times I told her it wasn’t.

In a frantic pursuit of perfection I bossed everybody around and tried to limit the damage my 4 siblings aged 3 to 8 could do to a […]