Saturday, March 15, 2008


As you know, Donica and I are back in Amsterdam till the end of the month. Little did I know that when we were last here in January, before going back to Atlanta and Mom's dying, I would be out in Holland's polder with friend Astrid, preparing for the restoration my Hart & Soul would need now!

All this week and next I am posting images from January's polder on my photoblog, out away from the big city where I find the pastoral care I have so much needed.

In the meantime, now, I am also restored by what is so soulful to me here in the Netherlands. Yesterday Astrid and I met up in nearby Utrecht again (our third time!) and set a goal to find one of the windmills.

What is it, I wonder, about windmills! How is it that they restore my soul? Can you tell me?

And you...what restores your soul? What has that kind of power to heal you and bring you back to the land of the living?!


  1. I wonder if it is their quiet power, and that they are connected with another time. I do know I need quiet and solitude to be restored. I don't know if I know or can say more than that.

  2. What restores my soul.......
    Ginnie, you saw my polder, you felt the wind, you saw the road on which I run a few times a week, that is where I get my mind clear, that is the place where I have many conversations with myself, no one will hear me, so nobody will mind MY business.
    The pictures of the windmill are brilliant again, we had the sun out, that was our treat for that day.
    You wonder why you like the windmills, I thought you knew yourself, but I will answer for you, the wind...the wind...the wind.....they only go by the wind...and they stand up proud in the polder, like landmarks and they go by the you can fill in the rest into the question you had for yourself.
    Ontzettend bedankt voor de gezellige dag in Utrecht.

  3. I love the pictures from the polder and Utrecht! However....I have just realized that I am a bit envious of your traveling around while I am off to work and sitting inside meeting rooms and offices! Well, one day I will retire and you can take me around to all the special places I have missed...please??

    Getting restored for me is always in a place where I don't have to interact with others. It frequently involves my iPod or a book as a shield...totally focused! Some of you won't be surprised by the next statement but I would guess almost everyone at work would be completely shocked...I am an introvert and that means I get energy internally and not externally. :)

  4. Ginnie (and Donica), I woke up this morning and turned on CNN to find out about the storm/tornado which blew through Atlanta last night. I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and pray that your home has survived undamaged.

    This post is awesome and you've given me so much to think about today. For that I thank you.


  5. Ruth: Another time and quiet power, yes. And that wind reminds me of Sophia, God's wise Spirit. Thanks, Ruth.

    Astrid: I had to LOL over your words about minding your own business out in the polder. I love your sense of humor, as you know. We did have such a brilliant day yesterday, didn't we! But you are so right. It is the wind! You know me well, mijn lieve vriend!

    Donica: I can so understand how my being foot-loose and fancy-free would make you envious! How I would love it if you could be as free all the time. (sigh) But then, I guess we wouldn't be in AMS, would we. I loved reading about what restores you. I think a lot of people would be surprised by what restores you! I'm not surprised, of course, because I see it. I don't always remember that you get your energy internally, but I do know it's true about you. I love that and who you are.

    T1: We had NO IDEA about this, Kim, until reading this comment from you. So now we have CNN on and are listening. We would have heard by now if our house was damaged. But I want to find out exactly where the damage was!

  6. Donica, With Ginnie having the time to explore and have fun while you are at work is your selfless gift of love to her and to each other. At this time I would suspect it is nourishing her and given the beautiful depth Ginnie has, the energy is coming back to you with love, support and healing with your Mom's loss. And the whole context will deepen the love and bond between each other at the same time.
    Ginnie, to me the windmill's paddles are symbolic of reaching and receiving the Universe's energy through its' wind. The paddles are wide and open and thus able to receive. For me part of restoring the soul is sensing God's omnipotent energy with the feel of the wind to the body, the warm of the sun to the skin, the boundless energy of God present in the sound of water, the meditative affect of music to the ears, the warm touch and embrace of a loving hand, and a persons expression with a love language in whatever form that it manifests from the loved one.
    Namaste, Bob

  7. What beautiful windmills.
    I think the power of healing and getting to one self for me is to have the time to be by myself with nature just to absorb all the creator has given us, to see the new birth of plant and animal.
    Very good question for one to really give thought about.
    Have a thoughtful week.

  8. I soooo understand Donica. I'm so extroverted (and the nervous type) on the outside, that to energize, I need some time to keep thinks low, give me and/or spend some prime time with OX.

    So, to the windmills: Don't we all paddle through life, sometimes through rough storms and then just enjoy the calm, soft breeze? It's all energy. Sometimes you have to give, sometimes you have the luxury of getting. Am I too blurry in my thoughts?

  9. Wonderful picture of the mills and I can only speak for myself: to me it means silence work of the natural elements - something quietly working - almost endlessly.

    Other than that, what restore my soul: is a nice walk out in the nature - close to the elements and in peace.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend :-)

  10. It almost seems like we need the opposite of the environment in which we spend most of our day to get recharged. I'm with you Donica. I too am an introvert and a little alone time now and then is good for my soul.

  11. Just stopping by to say Hi. I'm not sure what restores my soul. At one time I would have said a simple cup of tea, but these days it would have to be decaffeinated. I'm so glad you are finding restoration for your soul, Ginnie.

  12. how beautiful! What restores the soul, taking photos of just about anything, especially with blue skies.. And getting so excited about it!!!

    Definitely being outdoors too!

    I'm sure that is part of what restores your soul with a windmill!

  13. And yes we saw the report on the storm. STay tuned as there is another storm coming your way. The first landed in down town which I'm positive isn't near your house...

  14. Integrity: Your words are deeply touching, Bob. Thank you! I really like your symbolism of the windmill's paddles. A big, resounding YES!

    L&N: Nature is definitely at the top of the list for many of us, Lilli. That would be Mother Earth! The Mother really is so often the healer! :)

    CS: You are NOT too blurry in your thoughts, dear Lady! I love the way you think! :)

    Renny: Nature, Mother Earth, silence...away from all the hectic technology that so often makes us frantic.! I so totally agree!

    Don: So true, and well said! I have a feeling we all need that alone time to recharge the soul. Our own personal space to connect to our inner being!

    Karen: I agree on the decaf part! :) Sometimes it's the going through the motions, holding the warm cup in my hands, that is the soulful thing, regardless of what's in it!

    ET: Going on photo hunts with a dear friend has become very restorative to me, Jen. It can be indoors (a huge cathedral) or outdoors, like on Friday in Utrecht.

    We are definitely paying attention to Atlanta's storms right now. Places we frequent downtown for concerts were hit. So sad.

  15. I've spent a fair amount of time hunting down New England windmills. Sadly, few are in operation, and many have lost their sails. A beauty a few miles east of my house was hit by a tornado a few years back and is just a stump of what it was. I love their quiet power and bold forms. I also love the many mechanisms that have been engineered to capture the most energy from any wind. One surviving windmill in our area has a an iron track that allows the whole top of the building to rotate to face the breeze.

    Of course, none are as exciting as the windmill in your photo, a real prize. Thanks for your lovely photos of it that prove you more potent than Don Quixote.

    I need to add one more comment to praise the lovely, subtle composition of the first photo in this group.

  16. Beautiful photos, as usual. The windmills are so grounding, somehow.

    For me it's the ocean that restores me, but since I won't be seeing that for many more months, I have to rely on the plants and birds in my garden to re-connect me to what's important. :-)

    I too was wondering if you'd heard the news about the tornado and now I see you have. Hope all is well with friends and family in Atlanta.

  17. Beautiful photos! For me, nature and walks in nature are soulful and restoring. I also find working with photos to express myself and put on my blog, cards, or as special gifts to my wife to have a restorative and healing quality in my life.

  18. Called in from Ted's. Lovely windmill photos - getting out into the big outdoors, especially mountain scenery, always resets things for me.
    Like to go up to Scotland when I have the opportunity.

  19. i love seeing these images of the windmills, it is inspiring me and exciting my senses! to know that i will be seeing these in person in only a few days' time is so amazing.

    i am an introvert as well. i love spending time with the people i love, but i find that retreating to my studio, knitting, sewing , weaving (if i had a loom) and watching movies is the best solitude for me. it refills my soul.

    beautiful post. can't wait to see you so soon!!!

  20. Ted: Windmills of any type are mesmerizing to me! I even like the modern wind turbines. Your words always mean the world to me, Ted. Thank you kindly.

    Christina: I feel the same way about the ocean! It's so much bigger than I am and is therefore calming. I know that you miss it! It appears that all is well with family and friends. We have not heard otherwise. Thanks, dear friend.

    Tim: I know how you get restored! It's written all over your blog!!! :)

    Julie: I love that you stopped by and commented. Thanks a million. Scotland would definitely restore my soul! We loved the Highlands a couple of years ago!

    Lesley: Well, hopefully you will see some windmills while you are here! But it's not a given here in AMS. You actually have to go out a ways from the city to find them. But you can definitely go on public transport fairly easily. We'll see you both soon!

  21. The thing that restores my soul comes near Donica's. When my energy level reaches the red zone (empty!) I'll take my iPod or just plug my earphones into my notebook and then: I just listen to upbeat music, closing my eyes and feeling the beat, hearing every little tone played by the instruments. Sometimes I can just listen to one song and play it over and over again for an hour.

    The other thing that restores my soul is unfortunately not around here: the beach and the sea. Nothing beats hearing the waves, smelling the salty air and leaving your foot prints in the sand. *sigh*

  22. I haven't been to the Netherlands, so have not seen Dutch windmills, but I've seen windmills in Suffolk, in UK.... went to the top of a preserved windmill that is also a museum. Loved it. Something so different from what I was used to when I lived in Uk, or here in Canada.

  23. Yes, The mills, They have their power, more than only by wind...

    There are so many styles/kinds of mills here in Holland, They belong to the usual "horizon" as a normal view to/on the sky...

    I cannot live without the mills, I raised seeing them turning around and around, by the wind or water.

    Once in Holland (like you are) you FEEL the mills and their strong power, I understand what you mean, Yes they can restore your soul and thoughts...

  24. It's so exciting to read your posts from Europe. Allways with different angles and new insights.

    Thank's a lot for sharing and your effort to give.

    Best wishes for the Easter