Finding Appreciation in The Now
I come here mostly in the early morning or evening, even though during the day it is almost just as quiet. This place is exactly the right distance from people’s daily lives to make it a good location for contemplation. Apparently it is also a great spot for dumping rubbish. Fortunately, enough time has passed since the last garbage truck backed up here for it to smell and look rather more pleasant than one would expect from a trash heap, which is what this ground used to be.
I suppose all that waste makes for very fertile soil as there is no shade of nature’s favorite color missing here. It seems funny how a part of the earth that used to be dedicated to looking after the discarded aspects of human life is what I refer to these days as ‘The most beautiful place in Holland’.
For all the trouble I have had grounding in this country this spot makes it feel like the easiest thing in the world to do. Now metamorphosed into a lookout point overseeing part of ‘the Kaag lakes’, a small lake system in the West of Holland, it is here that I come to admire the unique beauty of my homeland.
Today is no exception. As soon as I sit down at the very top of the small ascent a quiet sense of appreciation wraps itself around me, shielding me from the cold wind blowing across the surrounding open fields. I’m ignoring the modern day wind turbines in the distance that look almost embarrassed to be intruding on this traditional-looking part of Holland. Instead, I focus on the old fashioned windmills in front of them. Just from where I’m sitting I can count one, two, three….six windmills. I guess things can’t get much more Dutch than this.
Throughout my life I’ve spent a considerable amount of time wanting to be anywhere in the world but in this country. Ironically, I can’t remember many occasions where I’ve been happier than right this very moment. From this viewpoint I can see miles into my future and look deeply into my past. But I don’t feel much of a need to go after either of them as, right now, I have no desire to move from this spot. There’s a sense of being fully here that is stronger than I’ve generally experienced in my life thus far. It is almost as though who I once was and who I some day will be have come to join me where I am sitting. It is also at this moment that I remember I once did feel at home in this country. Was that because I didn’t yet know any other ones? Or was it because I didn’t have so many memories to try to run away from?
In any case, there’s not much running going on right now. Except for when it comes to my nose which is trying to keep up with the tears that are streaming down my cheeks. I guess in order to make peace with where we are we don’t always require much more than to have a moment on a pile of overgrown crap with a decent amount of space around it. This feels like a nice metaphor for how I enjoy living my life; To let the past be rich soil to grow something I enjoy looking at. Without doing too much digging to find out what’s underneath it all or attempting to get away from things.
Even though I’ve spent the longest time looking for somewhere “better” to live, I now realize that a willingness to cherish where we are can sometimes offer us a lot more inner peace than locating the improvement we’re after.
From this place it feels like the whole world is open to me.Especially because right now I don’t care if I ever go out into it again.