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Breathtaking Fields of Gold

Golden Fields of Colza and the View over Prague and the Prague Castle

“Well, I’ve moved to the country for the first time in my life, and there are barley fields right next door. And I remember walking through one day and seeing this crop being moved by the wind and the sunshine, and … I thought it was a great metaphor for love, and, its a kind of love song.” -Sting, about his song Fields of Gold from ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ Promotional Interview Disc, ’93

Golden Fields of Colza and the View over Prague and the Prague Castle
Golden Fields of Colza and the View over Prague and the Prague Castle

This photo, and the next, capture what I believe is the most beautiful time of year in Prague. All across Czech Republic, fields of Colza checker the countryside in yellow brighter than New York City taxi cabs. Usually, fog and haze clothe Prague in its cloak of mystique. But on clear days, from the high hills surrounding Prague’s Vltava River, the German-Czech border mountains line the horizon to the North, and in every direction around Prague, fields of gold rim the City.

Fields of Gold and the View over Prague
Fields of Gold and the View over Prague

Though difficult to capture in a photograph or two, here you can see two of my favorite views. One toward the Prague Castle and the swirls of orange tile roofs surging across the Prague hills, one zoomed in, and one of the Prague Castle lapped in fog in the morning. I hope you enjoy seeing it!

Morning haze around Prague Castle
Morning haze around Prague Castle

What beauty captivates you? What have you noticed recently that takes your breath away?

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Holland and Belgium through My Lens: A Photojournal of Coastal and Countryside Beauty

A Canal in Holland leading toward the Sea

There is scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted himself and his reader with the melody of birds, the whisper of groves, and the murmur of rivulets.  ~Samuel Johnson

It is true: I love the countryside. My family came to America in the early 1900’s and settled in the wide stretches of land in the heart of the United States. The more I travel and the longer I live, I believe that we naturally migrate toward our roots and that our hearts feel most at home in places like our heritage. There are so many similarities in land and weather patterns and people between Western Europe and much of the United States. And we’ve never seen it so clearly as driving across middle Europe into the Coastal lowlands of Belgium and the Netherlands this past week.

For hours, we drove through checkerboards of farms, fields of golden colza, and hills of soft green meadows. Following, several photos that to me describe the staggering beauty of the coast and countryside in Belgium and Holland– the view through my lens:

Fields of Golden Colza
Fields of Golden Colza

a Windmill in Holland
a Windmill in Holland

Another Traditional Dutch Windmill
Another Traditional Dutch Windmill

Bikers in Holland
Bikers in Holland

A Typical Dutch Countryside scene
A Typical Dutch Countryside scene: I had heard how the Dutch prefer bicycling ...

A Canal in Holland leading toward the Sea
A Canal in Holland leading toward the Sea

Zeebrugges Beach on the border of Netherlands (Holland) and Belgium
Zeebrugges Beach on the border of Netherlands (Holland) and Belgium

Can you see in the photo above the people in the far distance standing near the surf? The beaches in low-lying Belgium and Holland go on forever!

Quiet colors of the North Sea from Zeebrugges
Quiet colors of the North Sea from Zeebrugges

Every boy's dream--an endless beach of sand
Every boy’s dream, an endless beach of sand: My 3 Boys on the Belgian Zeebrugges Beach

I loved getting to see the region of so many of our closest friends here in Europe. It’s beautiful!

In what ways do you appreciate a break from the city by escaping to the countryside? Have you been to Holland and / or Belgium?

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Fields of Gold

Fields of Gold
“As we walk in fields of gold …” -Sting
Fields of Gold
Fields of Gold

Over the past month, vast fields of gold have stolen my heart. Especially as the sun peeks out from behind its billowing cloudy covers–when the golden sunlight illuminates golden fields, I am captivated.
By the movement.
By the stunning color and contrast, and resonant beauty.
And every time I catch my breath, I hear Sting‘s moving song lyrics weaving through my head, from his song Fields of Gold.
Fields of Gold
Sting

 

You’ll remember me when the west wind moves

Upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold
So she took her love for to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold


Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley?
We’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold
See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold


I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I’ve broken
But I swear in the days still left
We’ll walk in fields of gold
We’ll walk in fields of gold


Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold


When we walked in fields of gold 

 

Near Prague and all across Europe in the late spring, farmers grow Colza for cooking oil.
This day, sunlight thrust itself between storm clouds, creating incredible lighting.
As summer sneaks in upon us, I hope to remember the golden fields, and to create and nurture a home of calm, and of beauty, and of lasting resonance. Somewhere where all who enter our gates may feel heartily welcomed and altogether secure, a place where we can be ourselves, a safe place where life can reflect the serenity of the plentiful fields of gold caressed by the sun.
To beautiful summer days
as we walk in fields of gold
Starting the Conversation: What do you look forward to about summer? Do you have travels, even around the bend, to discover something new?