How intriguing is our sometimes fantastical world – what we can see, though not with the naked eye.
For Alice, of “Alice in Wonderland” fame, it was by “by climbing through a mirror into the world that she can see beyond it,” as told by Lewis Carroll in the sequel “Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice Found There.”
For Lucy, it was encouraging her older siblings who were exploring elsewhere in the “big, old country house,” to enter with her the wardrobe and so set out on an adventure in the wilds of Narnia – “a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that the White Witch has ruled for 100 years of deep winter.”
For William Roozen (“which means ‘roses’ in Dutch”) it was envisioning for Skagit Valley in Mt. Vernon, Washington what at least six generations before him had realized in Holland since the mid-1700’s: raising tulips, and family.
Today, the Roozen family grows – in addition to 35 grandchildren – so many Tulips, Daffodils and Irises on more than 1,000 acres that its Washington Bulb Company is the largest in the world.
For my wife of 42 years, who is also Dutch and whose birthday our family celebrates this month of April – in which we will also welcome grandchild number five – not seeing is still believing.
Besides being a cancer survivor, she is limited in eyesight no thanks to a tumor discovered and since removed that impinged upon her optic nerve.
Still it was she who saw the barn first.
It’s not like the dilapidated structure – the proverbial broad side of the barn that I had missed – wasn’t obvious. There it rather starkly stood, sadly reminiscent of better days, its posts and pillars still standing proud but the weather and the years having taken their toll on the siding and shingles, slowly beginning the inevitable collapse of the hand-hewed timbers supporting the roof.
There was little sunshine on the day of our visit, this last Sunday in March. The wind swept bitterly cold, whistling through the slats which provided little in the way of protection, the barn doors long since rusted open.
Outside it was overcast with the promise of rain and inside it was drab though not depressing given her – and mine, as I dutifully followed – sudden-found sense of adventure. Exploring in the dim light, brushing aside cobwebs and being careful not to step on a nail, we hoped to discover in the dust and dirt some small forgotten and overlooked treasure.
Through the knothole.
The brilliance of never-ending color stretching as far as the eye could see, bathing in beauty the landscape clear to the hazy foothills of the mountains in the far distance, was stunning in contrast to our immediate surroundings.
As we approach Easter Sunday, what are you looking for – in spite of where you are and what has happened and where you have been – what do you see?
Picture by author David Anderson and his wife Lennie of the Skagit Valley. To see for yourself, visit the link here.