Spring

 

amelisweerd

spring-holland01

amelisweerd

spring-holland03

spring-holland04

spring-holland05

spring-holland07

spring-holland08

spring-holland09

spring-holland10

spring-holland11

spring-holland12

spring-holland13

spring-holland14

spring-holland15

spring-holland16

spring-holland18

We are children of the sun,
sitting in long grass
telling stories under apple blossom.
The rays soak into our skin,
warming us.
Filling us.
We are children of the Spring,
warm and wide awake.

The uncurling, unfurling of Spring

spring

Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations. It is not much matter if things do not turn out well. ~ Charles Dudley Warner

I didn’t know this until yesterday, but the first day of Spring here is not the first of the month. It’s actually the 21st. I guess it’s the equinox.

Purple crocuses and yellow daffodils bloom along sidewalks. Children play among the snowdrops in the forest, pulling them out in handfuls, and stuffing their pockets with droopy white flowers and dirty bulbs. The sky occasionally breaks into fits of laughter ~ blue streaks of happiness as it wakes from winter.

Hello, Spring.

I spent the first day of Spring in Amsterdam with my friend. We share a love of second-hand dresses, so inevitably ended up at the Jordaan markets, trawling for vintage wear in piles. I have never had so much vintage to trawl through. It was intoxicating.

A day of shopping and drinking by the canals was very humanifying, if there’s such a word. Humanity making? Or maybe, I mean something more like: adult-ifying. I love my children, and cherish their company. But occasionally, stepping out to walk narrow streets, to talk adult talk, and shop at will is a very nice thing to do.

I felt like such an adult and such a human, that today, I wore one of said vintage dresses and a vintage hat, got on a bicycle and rode into Utrecht to meet another creative lady. We spent an hour or so at a women’s prison (EX-women’s prison, of all places), doing creative things, and then cycled home.

As the crocuses unfurl purple petals to meet the occasional sun, so do I. And I do it on a bicycle, in a dress, because I am not a crocus. I am a lady. And I am starting to make deeper connections, and feel more independent, and more confident in a different country. And it’s exciting.

For the last few nights, I’ve lain awake at 3am composing blog posts or stories or something. Don’t worry about work, I don’t even need to tell myself. Enjoy these precious moments. And the blog posts, and the stories unfurl like the crocuses.

While you, many of my Australian friends, put on the soup, and start filling the larder for the winter, we in the northern hemisphere are Springing. I am planning new things. Making new things. Starting new things.

What’s unfurling in your world?

Hello, Sunshine

Utrecht-2

Utrecht-1
Utrecht

Utrecht-3

Utrecht-4

Lapjesmarkt

Utrecht Dom Tower

Frietwinkel

Koffie Luete

Utrecht-netherlands-bike

spring

Gelato

IMG_8657

Thank you, thank you for all your beautiful comments and messages about my last post on insecurity. After all these years of sharing, I am still astounded by the generosity and kindness of this little community. I love that if I pour my heart out, you listen, and help me in so many ways…

So after my spurt of the blues, the sun came out in The Netherlands. And the sun can do wonderful things! Especially if you are riding a bike around Utrecht with your little sunshine family, wearing a vintage yellow dress.

Utrecht really is my favourite city. It’s so unpretentious and so stylish. It was once the religious and economic capital of The Netherlands. Now, it’s a university city, full of young people, and stylishness. It has the beautiful old streets, and canals, like Amsterdam. But it’s so un-touristy.

Saturday mornings in Utrecht are fun. There is an epic fabric market {the largest in the Netherlands} called the Lapjesmarkt. Mum, you would die – it’s so great! {Actually, I am going to have to fill a shipping container, so you can make me dresses for the rest of time – you don’t mind do you?!}

We had fries. The best fries, from Frietwinkel {means “fries shop” – I love how pragmatic the Dutch are}.

We drank coffee.

We rode through the sunshine.

We ate ice-cream.

Another thing I love about the Dutch, or probably any culture that has a cold and miserable winter – as soon as the sun rears its head, the ice-cream shops are full, even when it’s only ten degrees. Oh, the optimism.

So, although living abroad is living outside the comfort zone, cycling through the sun around cobbled streets of Europe makes it all worthwhile.

Hope you are well! x

css.php