11 Aug

Well, my world has shifted a little bit.  Just a car ride away (about 6 hours) from the small but big world of Wettenboste,  Germany, I have now arrived at the home of Reiki Master Marijke Lemmen in Alkmarr, a city in the Netherlands.  A new language, new people, and I had to cross a very large dike to get here….  So here is my new and exciting information I have gained about the Netherlands that I will now share with you….

The Netherlands as we all know is also called Holland… so what is the difference?  Why do some people call it Holland and some people call it the Netherlands… I didn’t know….  Well, what I learned is that technically the country’s name is the Netherlands and a large and important region within the Netherlands is known as Holland… So, somehow, some way of which I am not totally clear… the country also became referred to as Holland.  So, next … that big dike we drove on to get here… it is called the Afsluidijk and it is 32 kilometers long (that’s 20 miles…)  For those of you from New Orleans to appreciate – it is not quite as long as the the causeway (23.83 miles) which crosses Lake Ponchartrain and incidentally holds the Guininess Book for World Records for longest bridge in the world over continuous water… but it is long nonetheless.  While driving on Afsluidijk the north sea is on one side…to the north… and on the other side is an lake created by the dike called Ijsselmeer, translated as lake Ijssel.

Before the construction of the Afsluidijk and other dikes, the Netherlands was a smaller country.  It is the intricate dike system that gave it access to new land that without the dikes is submerged in water.  Again, New Orleans people will appreciate this as New Orleans itself is below sea level.  The bonus of the Netherlands, though, is it has no hurricanes…. although it too has it’s history with storms and flooding.  They have a Monarchy which is mostly not involved in the politics of this Democracy.  And there is a strong social infrastructure here that supports people and families with good medical care and financial and housing support if they are out of work.  However, about 40% of their paycheck goes to the government to support this system… Yikes! It is one of the most densely populated countries on earth… which does not surprise me from the  small glimpse of it I have seen,  streets populated with rows of townhouse like homes and apartment buildings.

The temperature is cool here today and I am beginning to accept that I need to throw my ideas of what summer is like out the door.  I am wearing long pants and a fleece jacket with a raincoat when outside.  It is overcast and the wind here has a bite.  Yes this is a windy little country with gusts that will come up from behind and grab ya – kind of like the the windy little town where my mom and dad now live…Belton, Missouri of all places!  Marijke’s community of Alkmaar is on the Northwestern side of the country not far from Amsterdam.  It’s population of about 100,000 people is a world away from Wettenbostels population of, I think 58… that’s 57 now that my host’s daughter has moved…  Alkmaar has that European sensibility for bicycle riding with easy bicycle paths lining many roadways.

As I am settling in to spend a little time here, I am often overwhelmed by people’s generosity and Marijke’s generosity specifically to invite me here as a guest in her home.  As I explore my way in her home the theme here seems to reflect a song we sang as people were leaving Friends and Reiki last weekend in Wettenbostel… it went like this… “rainbow (insert name, like… Teresa)… rain bow (insert name)… go where you want to go, do what you want to do… we are loving you…” So I am here honored to be a guest and exploring what it is like to be in the space of someone saying – go where you want to go, do what you want to do… and in that space, also honor, respect and contribute to them…

And all of this is… well, abundant.  Especially the groceries we picked up today!  It has become clear to me just how much I love good, simple food and how it is a way that I really feel cared for and nurtured.  It has been fun living in Wettenbostel and getting more comfortable preparing food and doing that in community with others.

So, wow, I am in the Netherlands!  The wind is blowing!  And I am exploring “go where I a want to go… do what I want to do…”

One Response to “Abundant”


  1. Freedom « - 08/31/2011

    […] when I first arrived here in the Netherlands to stay in Marijke’s home… that is “go where you want to go, do what you want to do… we are loving you!”  Freedom. Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "0"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", […]

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