15 June 2020


To the beach

No idea when it was. At least a long time ago and in the summer. It was a warm day. That afternoon I decided to go to the sea at Scheveningen with my oldest daughter - she must have been around 5 years old. Nice beach day. Build sandcastles and dig channels. Water and sand, she and I never tire of it.

It must have been early evening. The sun began to apologize and slowly but surely approached the horizon. I wanted to show her the sunset. And well, in the Netherlands the sunsets in the summer are well after children's bedtime. That's why I tried to save time.


Fries! I thought, she loves that. That gave me extra time. Soon the two of us were on a bench on the Scheveningen boulevard. Between us was a bowl of chips. One was sufficient. Suddenly an enormous gull appeared out of nowhere. And before I realized what was happening, the huge animal disappeared towards the beach with the bowl in its beak. The fries fell out of course and the banket could begin. Dozens of seagulls started cleaning the boulevard. And the tray? He dropped it, the thief. And I threw it in a trash bin myself.


……. than my daughter. Ah, she looked at me, the astonishment radiated from her. I saw pout swelling. Even before they could grow into crying, I squatted down in front of her and put my upright index finger over my lips and said, "sssst". Then I took her hand and stood up. Come on, I said, we'll just get a new one ! This time we were wary and the seagulls had no chance.

When the light goes out

Meanwhile, the sun almost touched the sea and we sat on the beach. She was on my lap. The water just couldn’t reach us. Look at the sun, I said. It almost touches the sea. What do you think will happen then? She looked at me questioningly. I explained that the sun is a fireball, which gives warmth and light during the day and disappears into the sea at night. That in that event the light goes out.

That happens very far away, I said. Look at it and be still, if you are very quiet and listen very carefully, you can hear it when the sun touches the sea. Do you know what sound you hear? Again that day, I put my upright index finger over my lips: …… "sssst." Yes that's what you hear. It hisses a bit. She alternately looked at me and at the sun. 

And then the moment…… .. Suddenly her eyes opened further. She looked at me with those big peepers and raised her index finger…. I was moved.

Would she still believe it? No of course not. Perhaps she wished it would have been true.

© TrefMij July 2020

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