In our hectic and busy lives, with small screens devouring our faces, we start losing our grip on what’s important. We get lost in deadlines, meetings, to-do-lists and that pile of unfolded laundry starts haunting our dreams. Being close to nature can always put things into perspective.
Walking on the coast of Terschelling (one of the Dutch islands at the North Sea), I found myself experiencing the real process of letting go: ik ben even uitgewaaid. “Uitwaaien” is a common activity in Holland: you walk and allow the wind to take all your troubles away. I must admit it wasn’t easy. Even for late October, the winds on the islands are very strong. If you’re not used to this, it can be hard to enjoy a walk while the wind is wailing.
How do you let go? Well, the key is to let your thoughts sink deep in the sand. Focus on one small little breath, one small little step, one single moment. Before you know it you are one thought away from letting go. Not keeping grudges or thinking of what should have happened or what is about to happen. Breath in and let go.
Not griping on anything and just enjoying the long sandy coast of the island. It slowly starts feeling like a blessing, a ritual almost, that makes you realize you needed this. To be next to the sea, to hear the breeze, to step on the wet sand and get in touch with what is. Becoming gradually calmer, more serene, laid-back, one with the wind that accompanies you in every step.
Walking on the long sandy beach, it almost looks fake; a vast, flat field of golden sand that changes color depending on the sun’s mood. The light is vibrant grey as if reflecting the blue mood of the sea. The coast is clear, literally, but some sea debris has washed up on land. Do you hear our souls screaming? Their restless sound is fading away. It is just a whisper now.
The wind takes everything away, it sweeps our feelings away. Our soft footprints on the wet sand don’t make a sound. If you listen closely, you will feel the silence the strong wind brings; you will hear the nature calling out your name, taking over, helping you release whatever you are still holding on to. The strong wind clears our heads and the golden sunlight shows us the path we should take, one step at a time.
Photographs: Nikon F75 (28-100mm). Kodak Gold 200, 35mm film. Terschelling Island, Friesland, the Netherlands. October 2019.