Saturday, 9 June 2012
Melis van der Sluis
What an eventful day it has been. I travelled to and from Leeuwarden today, about 220km's one way! Lousy driving weather but the warm welcome more than made up for it.
A visit with pastoor Jelmer, dad's cousin and time with tante Alie, dad's sister and her husband oom Siep, started the ball rolling. The weather wasn't that wonderful, but the day was one big sunny event.
Melis van der Sluis, frisian born and living in Hamilton, New Zealand - making headlines in his home country and even more important his home province. I received an invitation to attend the book presentation of his life and life's work. Eager to see Ruth his wife and Melis again I gratefully accepted this invitation with both hands.
A small contingent of other frisians also living in NZ who were here on holiday were also present. They had arranged as surprise a moment to sing the NZ national anthem in both Maori and English, as the frisians are true to their own language as the Maori are to theirs.What an ode, what an honour. What a moving moment. I found myself singing with the group in full gusto with goosebumps on my arms and tears welling up in my eyes. How thankful I am to have been part of this awesome day. What a mixture of emotions.
I left home here in Papendrecht exactly 12 hours ago. I am shattered - feel wonderful but am exhausted. Glad and proud to have been granted such a blessed day!!
Will add photos tomorrow. And yes, I have a signed copy of the book, printed in 3 languages - English, dutch and frisian. And the prints of his works are amazing.
The past couple of days have really impacted on me emotionally. Having just received the wonderful announcement of my granddaughter's birth and now meeting up with old friends... all quite intense. It occurred to me, Indi's birth was sandwiched in between two book presentations. Both to which I was invited, both writers are people I admire. I will relive her birthday ever year with warm memories, and on my dad's birthday after all!