by Madeleine Kando
Once more, I am visiting beautiful Holland, where my mother still lives and where I grew up. She is settled in the northern tip of this small country, her flat abutting a pristine stretch of green fields dotted with sheep, cows and horses. It is spring time and the high-pitched bleating of newly born lambs calling for their mother, fills the air. Giant white swans slowly navigate the small 'ditches', like miniature barges with elegant wings. I cannot resist driving on these tiny polder roads, barely able to keep my wheels from veering into the trenches that separate the fields.
It is miraculously beautiful. The landscape has not changed since the Dutch masters of the Golden Age immortalized it in their famous paintings. A sliver of a horizon dotted with church steeples and poplars, domed with an immense sky. The light from the intricate web of waterways, lakes, rivers and the surrounding sea is reflected back on a hazy countryside, as if it were bathed in milk.