Oh, how quickly the year had gone by. Upon my return home I barely noticed that the leaves had turned green, then red, then suddenly, as if nature had played a mean little trick on them, the branches were bare all over again. The air was cold, thicker. The sun refused to make it's usual morning appearance. And rain had become the dominant force of nature. It seemed as if so many things had been occupying my mind that I never even heard the sound of the calendar pages as they gently hit the hardwood floor. As if trying to remind me of what season I should be living in. Pulling me away from times past. As if trying to snap me back to reality.
So it's been a year. Now I am back.
There's an odd tranquility to be found in The Netherlands. I can't seem to pinpoint exactly what it is. But perhaps the answer lies in the obvious contrast between the Spanish and the Dutch cultures. On the one side there's the Spaniards, loud by nature, unbelievers of such a thing as personal space, and pathologically late. The Dutch on the other hand, always on time, peaceful, and seemingly quiet people. The small buildings, green landscapes, and historical windmills. The quiet streets only to be occasionally disturbed by the ringing of a nearby bicycle passing by. It gets me every time.
I was blessed to be able to indulge in this experience one more time, even if just for the weekend. I must admit that this visit was much more relaxed and peaceful than my first. You see, this time I knew better than to try to fill every minute of the day with sightseeing and the like. Instead, I took long walks with friends, had wonderful conversations, and thoroughly enjoyed lengthy sessions of reading and drinking herbal tea. Perfection at its finest.
Yes, a year had gone by, but for me it served as proof that sometimes I need to have a little more faith in people. For it taught me that it really is true what they say, good things do come to those who wait.