“The voice of water – flowing like water”.
Water has always fascinated me and last year, when I followed the Rhine for 30 days on bike, on foot, swimming and in a canoe, I literally learned how to flow like water. Then there was the big lesson: letting go! I spent years planning this trip. I had even arranged for a follow car that would have transported my luggage and taken the bike from me if I had completed individual stages on foot or otherwise. But things turned out differently than planned. A week before the start, I received a cancellation. At first I felt panic, but it quickly gave way to a positive attitude. I calmly considered all possibilities, when finally, out of nowhere, the solution came. Since the theme of the trip was water, I would also flow and float like the water. The tour came naturally and everything went smoothly. In retrospect, I was actually grateful for the change of plans. It taught me the most important lesson of my life: flow like water.
I have so often watched the water as it bubbled and rippled over hills and valleys in the stream bed. It cannot be hindered in its path. Stones are no obstacle, the water simply meanders past on either side and follows the course of the river undisturbed. Not like I was used to in the past – always with my head through the wall. The Rhine had turned me into a relaxed, supple, flying Dutchwoman. For 30 days, always traveling in the same rhythm, I allowed myself to merge with the Rhine – we flowed together to Rotterdam – my birthplace.
Marja Nieuwveld, Ambassador for Water