Mother’s Day? In Tilburg they need a whole month!

Devotees have flocked to a tiny sanctuary during the month of May for centuries. They come to reflect, pray, pay respect, commemorate and celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus, or maybe their own mother, all mothers, or just themselves. Join one mother on her annual pilgrimage to the ancient Hasseltse Chapel in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Please choose HD quality for best playback. Video 5:45 min, Dutch with English subtitles. Created and produced by Marcel Baaijens. With thanks to Henriëtte Peters.

 

 

 

 

The 5th of May: endings and new beginnings.

May 5th, 2018: Dutch Liberation Day.

This day marked the end of the Second World War for The Netherlands in 1945. Although it is no longer a public holiday, the war casualties are still remembered on the eve of the 5th, with flags flown at half mast and two minutes of silence at 8 p.m. Flags are flown at full mast and cultural events celebrate the end of World War II and the Nazi occupation on the 5th.

5 May 2015: This was the date I chose to leave my home in New Zealand and become a digital nomad. The day I gave myself the freedom and time to prioritise recovery from severe mercury poisoning over staying stuck in a rut that was impeding that recovery, well-being and growth.

I lived in a mini van, travelled 70.000 km through Australia for about 28 months, and traveled for 8 months through Europe. The nomadic life enabled me to live simply, with little money, work less, and heal at a sustainable pace. Photography helped me to stay focused on the beauty of life rather that the symptoms of the mercury poisoning, kind people and nature helped me make my soul sing again.

Sitdance Downunder, Dance to Remember, the “Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues workshop, a library with some 20.000 photos, an amazing life experience, and a much improved health are the result of making that bold move 3 years ago. I could not have done it alone. I am forever grateful to all those who supported me along the way.

5 May 2018: my 3 years of nomadic living have come to an end. I did not returned to New Zealand, but woke up in Holland instead. If somebody told 3 years ago that I would end up in my country of birth, 30 years after I emigrated, I would not have believed it.

A different kind of ‘journey’ awaits, I have where it will lead, but it is a new beginning and adventure for sure. For the next year I will be based in Holland. As before, you are invited to be a witness to the journey and I hope you will continue to enjoy my photography and stories.

Watch this space!

Perfect orange sunset skies are a fitting backdrop for a Dutch flag on May 5th, 2018.