More borrowed words, but again I think they are poignant and meaningful to so many families. Many people are not aware that a part two was written to the original Welcome to Holland, sadly I have not been able to locate the author of this piece, it is commonly attribute to "Anonymous".
Welcome to Holland (Part 2)
I have been in Holland for over a decade now. It has become home. I have had time to
catch my breath, to settle and adjust, to accept something different than I'd planned.
I reflect back on those years of past when I had first landed in Holland.
I remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger—the pain and uncertainty. In those
first few years, I tried to get back to Italy as planned, but Holland was where I was to
stay. Today, I can say how far I have come on this unexpected journey. I have learned
so much more. But, this too has been a journey of time.
I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks. I learned a new language and I slowly found
my way around this new land. I have met others whose plans had changed like mine,
and who could share my experience. We supported one another and some have
become very special friends.
Some of these fellow travelers had been in Holland longer than I and were seasoned
guides, assisting me along the way. Many have encouraged me. Many have taught me
to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. I have discovered
a community of caring. Holland wasn't so bad.
I think that Holland is used to wayward travelers like me and grew to become a land of
hospitality, reaching out to welcome, to assist and to support newcomers like me in this
new land. Over the years, I've wondered what life would have been like if I'd landed in
Italy as planned. Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would
I have learned some of the important lessons I hold today?
Sure, this journey has been more challenging and at times I would (and still do) stomp
my feet and cry out in frustration and protest. And, yes, Holland is slower paced than
Italy and less flashy than Italy, but this too has been an unexpected gift. I have learned
to slow down in ways too and look closer at things, with a new appreciation for the
remarkable beauty of Holland with its' tulips, windmills and Rembrandts.
I have come to love Holland and call it Home.
I have become a world traveler and discovered that it doesn't matter where you land.
What's more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy
the very special, the very lovely, things that Holland, or any land, has to offer.
Yes, over a decade ago I landed in a place I hadn't planned. Yet I am thankful, for this
destination has been richer than I could have imagined!