When I’m the girl in the photograph

When I'm the girl in the photograph

January, 1922, a young dutch girl is at school in Zaventem, Belgium. She writes the date carefully, each word a work of art.

96 years later I hold it in my hands. I trace the letters she wrote; my great-grandmother.

She started writing it just after a world war, not knowing it would only be the first. Before she had children, before those children grew up.

Did she make ever make the fancy recipes she carefully wrote down, for visitors or in-laws?

Sometimes I think of life back then in black and white, or at least in the faded colors of the photographs I find.

But the sun shone just as brightly, and the grass was just as green.

Life seemed to stretch out just as endlessly for her. After she went back home and put her simple brown notebook with its elaborate curly writing on a shelf, she couldn’t have known that almost a century later it would find itself back in Belgium close to the place where it received its first word.

Someday I’ll be the girl in the old fashioned photograph. And although it won’t be black and white it will seem just as […]

The blue sky

I love the sky best when it is clear and blue.

I love it even better when it is filled with swirling, hot air.

Now, the sky is clear and cold. I like it, but it isn’t quite the same.

It bites.

The trees have dropped their leaves. They wouldn’t want to let their soft green leaves endure such cold.

Does the cold blue sky know that the branches are green inside? Does it know they are like factories, in full preparation for what is to come?

Because when the sultry, curly, misty warmth drives the biting cold out of the air, thousands, millions of leaves will come out of hiding.

Then, little children will appear out of all the houses, with bare feet. The grass will think it is exhausting to be stepped on all day, but it is strong. It will always bounce back up.

“Go on then, children,” it will say. “You are terribly exhausting, but I do so love to have you here with me. Go on, run around on me. And when it gets so very warm, and I am thirsty all day, will you play games with water? Yes. That will […]

Slow, really nice and slow

I sometimes complain that life is rushed.And then I rush you.I complain everything is fast, and busy,And then I busy the life out of you.You do it so very well. Living slow.The toothpick falls.

Slowly, you get of your chair. You crawl under the table and find not only the toothpick, but also a ball and a spoon. This delights you.

Your mouth curls into a mischievous, satisfied smile. Your cheeks deliciously go along, not wanting to miss out.

The cheese is lost.You check your t-shirt. Your pants. Your chair. And find it under the table a few minutes later.

Slowly, you push the chair away and I restrain myself from bending down to just do it for you. Your little fingers rub the cheese, relishing the texture. To me, it looks unappetizing. To you, it is a piece of gold.

I tell you to hurry up and finish eating.

You twist around on your chair in an everlasting dance, bumping your plate and your milk. All I can see is the possibility of spilled milk and all you see is the crumbs in the shape of an airplane.

Staring at the ceiling, you contemplate…something? You can’t and won’t […]

Never enough and always the best

I am never good enough for you. For your sweet little smile.

I love you every moment, but when you scream I sometimes forget.

For you, I want to be the mom that I am in my thoughts, my plans and my dreams. And than you want things that are impossible.

I want to be there for you every day and do everything you want.

I don’t succeed in doing a lot.

Still, you throw your arms around me, when you go to sleep.

Still, you tell me you love me.

You tell me you want another hug, another kiss.

From me.

Even me.

Always me.

The Dream Dragon of Nostillitumtime

The Dream Dragon of Nostillitumtime

I flew up to the sun yesterday. I slid down the sunbeams, like the biggest slide on earth. They brought me to the SunLight Station and from there I went to the middle of the sun with the SunExpress. There, I had sun candies, and they tasted like light.

I caught a ride back with a falling star and quietly, sneakily, I tiptoed back into the house and lay down, back in bed. Nobody every knew.

I couldn’t possibly stay away from adventures after that. So, tonight I will dance in a rain cloud with all the raindrops. Then we will come falling down and I will slide down the rainbow on the back of the dream dragon. We will soar through the dark skies, and float quietly through the sleeping cities and villages and the dream dragon will blow dreams on sleeping children.

When we are done, we will have a dragonish breakfast of puffed clouds and a gale of wind, and some moonbeams for desert.

He will bring me back to my house, and quietly puff me in the window. Before leaving, he will kiss me with a big slobbery kiss, and blow a dragonish dream through […]

Garden magic

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 […]

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 closer to the flowers than the one we had parked at last year.

But it wasn’t.

And after about 2 minutes of walking the children decided they had enough and they wanted to go back to the car.

I, on the other hand, was intent on enjoying this walk and so I became the mom that over-cheerfully, loudly praised all the things the forest has to offer.

Mike wasn’t complaining, but the un-excitement was seeping of his face. He didn’t […]