"Los Tulipanes"

"Los Tulipanes"
48 X 48, oil on panel

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome to Holland

I remember coming across this story years ago, I was googling Holland on the internet, dreaming of visiting someday.  I saw the title "Welcome to Holland" and it looked the the perfect place for me to daydream.  I clicked on it, and quickly found that it was not what I had anticipated, but rather a heart warming analogy.  I was touched, but moved on searching for photos of tulips and windmills and museums.  

This past year, I have thought of that story I read long ago, and I finally searched it out again.  It has new meaning.  It makes me love tulips even more than I did before.  I have always dreamed of going to Italy too, but maybe there's a reason I love tulips so much... and Van Gogh.


Welcome To Holland
copyright 1987, by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.  After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and  says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.  The important  thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.  It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less   flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you  begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful  time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go.   That's  what I had planned."  And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream  is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very  special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

2 comments:

Nadia and Jeremy said...

I love it, Sarah! What a great analogy. Love you!

Peter Pascal said...

very handy with a paintbrush, even though
I know what I like in the way of art, I took the easier option to order this canvas print from the site wahooart.com .

It’s an unusual work called Forest music 1, by Remedios Varo Uranga, a Spanish-Mexican woman artist.