I write this post from Bad Zwischenahn, Germany. It reaches back into the past a few days. However, I've only just now been able to download this photo and post it. I wrote about this night in words, but this photo is too cool to not share.
How fitting that my last night in Holland should have been so magnificent. How fitting that the a night of personal reflection, sitting in front of this canal, should indeed be so reflective.
My goodness, how could I possibly have known that I would have such an amazing and profound time in this little country? I thought it might take me a week to pass through. Instead its been more like four or five and I can now tell stories in Dutch!
I made new friends, met old ones, sailed through blue skies, suffered through sleet snow and crazy windstorms. I cruised over the most amazing bike trails and roads and bridges I have ever seen and waited at traffic lights with a crowd of fellow cyclists. I met Christians, atheists, families and foreigners. I spent nights in the smallest and quaintest of towns and the biggest and most thriving of cities.
I discovered Love and experienced it to heights and lows that I never imagined. I shattered old ideas that had shackled me with their rusty chains and replaced them with white wings. I painted a mural, I rode double and tipsy on the back of a bicycle, I played with children, I embraced the elderly, I even camped in a swamp.
Most of all I experienced a people that think of themselves as cold and distant but are in fact warm and generous and helpful and friendly to strange strangers. I was able to share my stories of Dutch kindness to the Dutch themselves and watch as one act of kindness bounced back and forth inspiring yet more.
Thank you Holland. Bedankt Nederlands!