Island Notes 57
It was just ten hours before that the KLM jet set down on the island. After nearly spending a half day on the airplane, it was easy to find the bed. But the first rays of morning sun bring me out early and soon I am behind the leash of Sparky. We are headed to the mondi for our first walk in nearly a month.
Hettie and I had just returned from a busy trip in Europe. We saw our dear friends and family. Our son flew in from London and joined us for four days in Amsterdam. We took day trips on the train to Leiden and Maastricht. We joined friends on their 38-foot cruiser for a three-day trip on Holland’s waterways, the Markerzee and the River Vecht.
We joined other friends and brother Otto for a raucous, 3-day road trip to Belgium with the express goal of sampling Belgium beers. Geuze and Lambic in Brussels.
There were Trappist ales to be had in the Ardenne and near the Dutch border.
It was a packed, fun-filled Euro adventure that lasted three weeks.
But now I am back on the slopes of the island, trekking a steep ridge trail with my loyal dog. We are both hot and panting. At the top of the ridge, we stop to drink water and take a look around. Swift darts of brilliant yellow and crimson flash by. Saffron finches. A dozen parrots fly overhead, squawking loudly. A blooming century plant moves ever so slowly back and forth in the trade winds.
This is the first time I’ve had a chance to reflect in nearly a month. The stillness of the ridge takes over. Sparky stops panting and lays down. I close my eyes and feel the warm sun on my face. I review the loud sounds of Amsterdam where I mostly stayed during the trip—trilling tram bells, high heels on hard streets, happy chimes of the carillon coming from the Munttoren, the blast of a canal boat making a sharp turn into the Prinsengracht.
It all fades away now. I hear the wind on the shrubs, the buzz of a hummingbird’s wings, the waves along the coast, the rattle of palm fronds colliding against each other. I succumb to these gentle, familiar sounds. Home. Home again. I am back on island.