Smell the sea
And feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic
Into the mystic
I was looking for a song or a quote to let you know how I experienced the next walk when I stumbled upon a song by Van Morrison called Into the Mystic. These few lines exactly express my feeling of today. Today is Saturday, and we are going to walk between the Hague and Kijkduin. It is a bit of a special day for me for today my sister is going to walk with me. She is fully recovered from her meningitis and already training for a 50km walk at the end of May. I am so proud of her!
Maart roert zijn staart
There is a saying in the Netherlands: maart roert zijn staart (March is stirring its tail) and it means as much as you can expect…any kind of weather in March. It can rain heavily, it can be very windy but it can also be beautiful weather with the sun shining. Sometimes it even snows in March. No matter which month we are in, my day mostly starts with sunshine; sunshine in my head and sunshine in my heart.
Forces of nature
Another thing that makes my day sunny is the knowlegde that within an hour and a quarter I will meet 13 other Peakers and a tiny little peaker boy. We are going to walk through the dunes and over the beach. How awesome is that? Totally different than the walks we did before.
To me the sea has something mystical. It brings back memories of my youth. We often used to go on an autumn holliday to one of the Frisian Islands. Standing on the beach while there was a huge storm going on, that’s when it felt mystical. On the one hand I have a deep respect for the force of nature of the sea, and on the other hand the feeling there is more between heaven and earth. The sea has a lot of power and can do awful things to us, and there is nothing we can do about it. Stormy water can be very dangerous, but the howling of the wind and the rustling of the waves towards the beach make me humble and respectful to a force I can not control.
Standing on the beach looking at this huge pool of water with nothing as far as I can see also gives me a feeling of freedom. It’s the same kind of freedom I experience when I’m at home, looking across the fields with nothing in sight for as far as the eye can see. There are no limits, nothing that blocks my view. I let my soul and spirit fly.
Our host for today is Brenda. I first met Brenda in Glasgow, but I really got to know her last year when she helped me with my last piece of my puzzle. Together we changed my food pattern, and she helped me losing weight. I had not felt so well in a very long time. All because this beautiful woman showed me how and guide me along the way. And today she is going to show us her backyard. Brenda lives in the Hague and through the dunes she walks us to Kijkduin. Most of you might have heared of Scheveningen, some of you might have been there. Today we are walking in the opposite direction. In every way Kijkduin is smaller than Scheveningen, but they say that is also its charm. From Kijkduin we walked back over the beach to the Hague.
The most precious thing on our walks is meeting new people, new Peakers who just like you like to walk. Embracing those you already know and even those you get to know for the first time is special. It’s that feeling of really getting to know each other, sharing not only the courtesy calls but a real conversation. I try to learn a different side of each and every one who joins the walk. Every trek I get caught by the stories people share with me. Sometimes it’s about work, sometimes about our families, and that what’s connecting us. But we also discuss what’s on our mind, problems with health issues, feelings, whatever needs to be talked about. And when you walk several walks together I can assure you there is enough that connects us, not to mention MPC.
Today I talked, amongst others, with Heleen. Heleen is a new Peaker, and she has a rather odd job. Instead of making vegetable plants better she makes them sick. She does that on purpose!
The ones that survive form the basis for the next generation of plants. She keeps on doing that until she is satisfied about the resilience and all the other qualities. When they are satisfied with the results, they are able to make all kind of new varieties of carrots, onions or cabbage for farmers all over the world. I had never heard of it and found it very interesting talking to her.
Also with us today was Debbie. In October 2018 Debbie gave birth to Benjamin, and he is really the Benjamin amongst us Dutch Peakers. Debbie lives in the Hague and thought it was a good opportunity to go and walk with us today. If it did not go well she could stop, take a bus and go home. I admire her strenghth, for she did not give up and walked with us all the way, every one of the 14,5km (9 miles). And this cute little boy, warmly hidden within her coat, never once gave a sound until we stopped.
Let your soul and spirit fly
On the beach the wind was stormy. It was almost impossible to turn around and see where everyone was. If you did, you had to protect your eyes from getting sand into them. But nevertheless the views were amazing. Just before we left the beach to head back to the dunes to walk the last miles, it started to rain.
Luckily when we finished, Brenda treated us to a nice bowl of pumpkin soup. It warmed us from the inside out. With the warmth of the soup, just looking around me to this wonderful group of people, I still could smell the sea and feel the sky, and I let my soul and spirit fly.
All pictures are made by Ellen Overman, Brenda van Wegen, Linda van den Ham, Vera Koning and Antonette de Groot (Amfion)