eft Holland almost 22 years ago, and knowing that Ireland is my home, I am always surprised, and a little confused, how quickly Holland takes the feeling of being my home.
Haarlem- the town where I lived for the last eight years before departure to Ireland- is familiar. So familiar that I am taken aback when the thought strikes me that I have never left. My life in Ireland seems alien. This all happens within the first few hours of "kissing" Dutch soil.
Standing outside a cafe waiting for a taxi to bring me 'home', I watched a continued stream of bicycles passing by. I think- I used to do that- I used to get around on my bike. What has changed?
Although I stand there with my walking stick for support- and unable to walk the short distance to the bus station, I temporarily forget I that I got ill with M.E. It feels like some unknown force has plucked me out of my real life (in Ireland- with M.E.) into this different reality of being well in Holland.
Of course M.E. did come along on this journey. It always does. "It" doesn't like to stay behind...
After a busy day of travel yesterday and having picked up my new book and having had lunch with friends, I arrived in Holland. I was greeted by my brother and sister and law who brought me to my friend's home. Lots of talk- lots of catching up- staying up too late- no great sleep because of being much too tired... and hey presto I wake up wrecked and saw my plans for today fade away.
But. There is always a but. I had brought my meditation downloads by the wonderful Kerie Logan. A life savior ones again. M.E. does not disappear with the sun that shines for me in the meditations, but it certainly gives me hope, the changed focus gives me air to breath, the gentle words give me a sense of lightness. I can get on with my day.
I did follow my plan! After a very leisurely morning, I was dropped off at the Provincial research centre where I wanted to find out about my great-grand-mother's life. A place full of lives lived- a place full of hidden truths.
I found the hand written birth certificates of my great-grand-parents (on microfilm) and was able to print out copies. What made me laugh most of all was that the address of the father is noted. The address of the mother has a separate entry. "Same address" was the verdict on my great grandparents forms.
But- was Holland ahead of it's time of unmarried mothers, or parents having a Living Apart Together relationship?
Living life in a different reality turned out to be good.
Ps To add to my confusion of where is home, on hearing the Dutch language being spoken, I think He, there are more Dutch people around..."
And my spoken Dutch has a lot to be desired...