Tomorrow in the Netherlands, it will be Remembrance Day, and the day after it will be Liberation Day. It’s days like these that give me mixed feelings. Is it a good thing to remember those who gave us our freedom and then celebrate this freedom? Well, maybe. In this way we can experience gratitude and be aware of the importance of freedom. On the other hand, it makes us focus on suffering.
“Why?” he asked and looked up at the tiny clouds slowly drifting by. “Why am I being deserted again?”
At that moment, his heart grew heavy. He did not understand why she had left him. Why he had lost her.
Then he looked down again, at the trees to the right, and he walked over to the little lake that lay hidden behind them.
“It’s okay to be a bit cheeky, Wim”, my girlfriend said to me before she became my girlfriend. And, I can tell you, I badly needed her encouraging words. For, it was with trembling knees and a pounding heart that I knocked on her door in the beginning. Fortunately for me, because by listening to my heart instead of to my fears, she is now my girlfriend.
“Magari,” he sighed wistfully as he sat on the cliff overlooking the bay.
Instantly, the wind began to stir. She whipped the waves to a frenzy, driving them towards the beach where they would have rolled on to anyway, albeit faster now.
If only I could, he wondered.
“Oh, but you can,” replied the wind.
Then, the wind settled, letting the waves rest a little in the warm afternoon sun.
“Don’t take it seriously, dad,” my eldest son said to me, when we were playing Monopoly along with my girlfriend a while ago. Every time my sons make remarks like that, I become alert. Sure, I knew he meant it literally, he was telling me not to be absorbed by the game. Still, this remark had a deeper meaning to it, and a few days later it dawned on me what he really meant. Whether or not he was aware of this, he meant that I could simply enjoy the game and our get-together.