Sunday, 16 May 2010

May Landscape

I remember the land of my childhood on the Dutch-German border as gentle and mostly silent. A peaceful land, neither dramatic nor exciting, with wide skies and clouds always in a hurry to move on. A low hill here and there hardly dares show itself, the earth is spread wide and flat and green and fertile. The observer’s wandering eye is allowed an endless supply of nourishing horizon-fare. Blossoming orchards are dotted between the lush meadows; streams, brooks and the mighty river Rhine keep all supplied with life-giving moisture. Once out of the industrial cities, small villages embedded in this landscape show off neat and tidy houses with scrubbed faces and pretty, tidy little vegetable and flower gardens. The sun’s rays are always clothed in a thin veil of silver radiance, soft mists envelop and dampen the view on all but the hottest summer days.

This is a landscape for walkers, cyclists at most. This is a landscape where rest is inbuilt, the wanderer will not tire himself or herself; a welcoming inn beckons from morning to night and there is no need for making great plans beforehand, take your time and let your steps, or bicycle,  take you where they will.

Soft greens and browns of  hedgerow, copse and field, pink and white blossoms, muddy ponds colonized by emerging water lilies, a tinkling stream still holding late meltwater, all these  bring peace of mind; pliant earth makes walking easy and if you are cycling, there are many paths set aside especially for you. Willow trees assume their shimmering, glimmering spring coats. In the meadows black and white cows gently chivvy their calves after a long winter in the stable. And above you, if you are very lucky, invisible larks will hurl their joyful song into the canopy of  the endless sky.

This Landscape is good, tender, friendly and full of little miracles. It is the landscape of May.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! "...invisible larks will hurl their joyful song into the canopy of the endless sky." You saw the picture, and poetry formed around it.

  2. I am packing my bags and coming for a visit!

  3. Exquisite! Your prose is so lyrical - poetic. The pictures married with the prose are so lush - I particularly loved the second one with the canopy of fresh, young leaves.

    May we anticipate a post about the landscape of June? I'm feeling greedy for more of your silken words.

  4. Peaceful and sensual.
    And . . . I believe that I am there.

  5. I love this blog post, Friko. A beautiful picture of your Dutch-German homeland. Wales is so different with its mountains and valleys. We went to the Smallholders and Gardeners Show at Builth yesterday. Passed by a sign for Clun and I thought of you - almost gave you a wave!

  6. Ah, Friko, this took me back. We lived for several years on the Dutch-German border near Geilenkirchen (German side) and Heerlen (Dutch side). I have such wonderful memories of spring, as I'd never until then experienced it - the gentle spring about which you've written. Beautiful.

  7. Sigh. That calmed me down after watching Lewis and getting all tensed up with wanting to know.

  8. Martin H - That is how it is, the picture brings the words but then the words need arranging. Thank you very much for your encouragement - although I couldn't see the poetry until you pointed it out.

    Tabor - May I join you? I haven't been back for a long time; this is all memory.

    Bonnie - Thank you, for your appreciation. 'Waxing lyrical' is still an effort, I am still very aware of making a fool out of myself. But blogging being at a distance, I am getting braver.
    Perhaps there should be a June picture too.

    June - When I was remembering and writing it, I was there, and there is always a little ache in my soul.

    mollygolver - If you were close it would have been nice of you to pop in for a cuppa. Will you do that next time ?

    Pondside - You have said similar things before and I still find it hard to believe that anyone else can appreciate this modest and unassuming land as much as I do and many of the people born there do. We become part of the silent landscape and become silent ourselves.

    Fran - I saw Lewis too. It's almost as good as Morse!

  9. Lovely calm pictures and beautiful prose pictures! A gentle land...

  10. This is beautiful country. I want to bring my bicycle and take the most scenic paths. Looks like there are many.

  11. What a lovely place this must be – so soft and peaceful. I like your first photo with the yellow fields – as you say a great place to bicycle. I can visualize that. Your prose is also very lyrical and goes well with the pictures.

  12. And canals?
    Sounds like heaven...

    Aloha from Spring Time in Waikiki!

    Comfort Spiral

  13. A perfect post to read before retiring for the evening...what a peaceful feeling. I will dream of your May landscape and also vote for one in June. Thank you.

  14. Beautiful and restful describe your photos. I can feel the peace seeping into me. We all need rest, don't we? I sometimes think that our hectic busy schedules leave too little room for true rest. A stroll through that slow landscape to slow our souls should be prescribed for many.

  15. A lovely peaceful landscape! And great for cycling! If only!

  16. breathtaking word pictures and photographs and painting friko. it's a part of the world i hope to visit again some day. steven

  17. Have Faith in your writing Friko, you do far better than many native speakers will ever manage in a lifetime and your efforts shien through. Beautiful

  18. aussergewöhnliche Fotos und eine sehr schöne Beschreibung dieser Landschaftsbilder. Gerade diese schöne Sprache liebe ich sehr, hier!
    Einen schönen Abend für Dich, Friko!
    (Danke für Deine liebenswürdige Antwort auf meinen Kommentar. Ich habe Dir eine Mail geschickt, die hoffentlich auch angekommen ist!)

  19. Bonnie got there first with the word 'exquisite'. Beautifully written, Friko. My oh my, you have a way with words.

    And lookee here! You have 114 followers now - my god, woman, you're going to be sorry you asked for more 'cos then you'll be overwhelmed with comments. What a thought.

    Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked. Calming down now again, and want to go there where you grew up. With a bicycle.

  20. Your words are so lovely - so descriptive of a quiet wonderful countryside. I was up very early this cloudy morning and as I read and enjoyed my morning coffee on the deck I could hear the geese and the birdsongs and I looked at our fields and forest and the farms in the distance. Your words describe my peaceful morning so well Friko...
    "We become part of the silent landscape and become silent ourselves."

  21. What a great post! Loved every word and the photos, too. Thanks for sharing. :)

  22. Very nice pictures you've got posted. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  23. elizabethm - Thank you.

    Vicki Lane - Thanks very much, it truly is. Mainly because it is hidden.

    Paul C - I am sure you'd be very welcome.

    Vagabonde - The rape fields are blossoming all over the UK too at the moment and the smell of the rape is quite overpowering.

    Cloudia - No canals, except for two major ones, but lots of waterways of a natural sort.

    taylorsoutback - I'm glad if the post helped to bring peace.

    Lorrie - slow landscape describes it perfectly.

    Gilly - if only here too. I'd love to go cycling but we have hills! And traffic!

    steven - Perhaps you will.

    her at home - thank you very much for your kind words, perhaps I will learn to see it that way some time too.

    Renee - Ich hoffe, meine mail ist auch bei dir angekommen? Danke fuer den lieben Kommentar; hast du auch mal Heimweh nach einer alten Heimat?

    Deborah - Shshsh, it's alright. Get on that bike and you'll soon calm down.

    Sheila - that's the best thing about being close to nature, the silence. For me, anyway.

    Kate - thank you Kate, you are welcome.

    Austin Home Purchase - Thanks for that.

  24. Hi Friko

    I just love these images of the countryside but more than that I love the way that you have described this place of your childhood. It is beautifully written and it carried me along like I was on the bicycle looking here and there and stopping a while to peer in the murky ponds and listen to the frisky birds...
    thank you Friko

    happy days


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