Even now, as I step out on to the verandah of the beach house to see the last of the storm clouds departing on the horizon, the air feels muggy. It weighs down on me like a woollen blanket on a hot summer’s day. In an instant, it occurs to me how clearly the early morning storm mirrored the way I feel after our heated exchange late last night. I sigh deeply in an attempt to soothe my heavy heart and start walking on my own through the rain-drenched sand towards the water’s edge.
Once he sat crouched inside the cardboard washing machine box, the boy entered another world. A place where characters from the books that he borrowed from the library came to life. In his imagination, he accompanied them on all sorts of adventures. He could be setting sail as a famous explorer to unknown lands one moment and ranging the prairie with cowboys the next, or doing battle with knights, or tracking down a horse thief as a Canadian Mountie on his dog sled.
I must have been about four when I was introduced to the phenomenon of regeneration. At the time, I was on holiday with my family in a resort in Coya, near the mining village of Sewell in Chile where we lived. We were walking from our apartment to the swimming pool when we spotted some skinks on a sun-drenched wall. I can’t remember how it happened, but one of them lost its tail. My brothers and I were a bit saddened by this until my mum pointed out that this was the skink’s protection against predators and that it would eventually grow a new tail.
Though, it comes naturally to few
Many of us have difficulty finding it
For courage is everything but matter of fact
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.