A strange side-effect of tough times is that you value the short intervals of peace and tranquillity as moments of pure gold. Today, the weather has been gorgeous over this part of Holland so I took my bike from the shed and cycled around the area. It was a moment of bliss, rare happiness in troubled times and an inspiration.
Geese in spring’s abundance
I’m happy to share my trip with you in the form of pictures, taken with my phone so -sorry- not of really good quality. The area where I live is called “The Zak van Zuid-Beveland”, which usually leads to much hilarity among the Dutch. “Zak” can be translated as ‘pocket’, ‘bag’, ‘asshole’ but also as ‘scrotum’. Well have a look at the map and you’ll understand the sniggering.
Anyway, next to its funny name, the Zak van Zuid-Beveland is also famous for its beautiful nature – it’s a National Park. Much liked are its cycling pathes along the dykes and through the polders. The landscape that came into existence from the early Middle Ages was diked in polder by polder - by hand! – and thus reclaimed from the sea and is still everywhere below sea level!! However, the sea did not give up its claim on the land without a fight and thoughout the ages there have been plenty of floodings. The deep pools and creeks that grace the landscape are still brackish as a result.
Typical Zuid-Beveland brackish pool
The most beautiful spot of all – which unfortunately I’m unable to show in its real shape because it was too big for my camera – is called ‘De Brilletjes’, the Glasses, because it consists of two ponds formed as a pair of glasses.
Next to the many creeks, the landschape is exquisite with hawthorn bushes, meadows filled with buttercups and narrow, winding lanes laced with cows parsley.
Hawthorn bushes in bloom
For years, I’ve fought my own battle with this landscape, which is the heritage from the paternal side of my family, while in my heart of hearts I long to live in Albion, my mother’s native country, but this afternoon I was at peace with my surroundings and enjoyed them to the brim.
Me and my friend
I cycled with the fragrant scent of hawthorn and cows parsley in my nose, I heard the cuckoo’s call and all the singing birds did their utmost to lift my spirits – and succeeded.
Meadow in bloom
For a brief moment in time, I had no worries and was totally part of the scenery around me. I even enjoyed the cycling against the wind – which is usually what I hate and why I prefer hiking. The flatness of the territory and the sea wind are always present here!
Black cows around pool
If you are enjoying this cycle trip with me, you’re very welcome to come and do it for real. You’re all invited and you don’t even need to bring your own bike. They are for rent here everywhere.
Old Dutch farmhouse by the lake
Back at home, at my computer, I can still hear the wind, the birds. I see the space around me, touch its tranquillity. I can smell the scents of a spring day… and I’m happy to be writing again. It’s been so long, so very long!
I also came across a special breed of sheep with long horns. Even the babies were already horned! They were dozing in the shade and had no eye for me. They didn’t look at all dangerous.
Sleeping horned beasts
One more floral meadow
Thanks for making this trip with me. I hope you enjoyed it and you’re welcome anytime to repeat it with me. Just give a shout.
P.S. One brown one amidst the white. Is that me?