There are certain days in life where you just know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that if ever a path in life was chosen for just you, you are on it. And all the stars align.
After just a few days in a new country you meet a group of women for the first time. They welcome you with open arms, and your first conversations with them make you feel as thought you've known them for years. They speak your native tongue, but also the language of the country you're in, making you feel at once both welcome and inspired to learn Dutch.
You leave the group, and as you're moseying through the neighborhood you think you spot a large set of antlers to the right. You double-take, then come to a halt. There's a park nestled in the streets of this quaint town with a resident herd of deer. You get out and allow your son to chat with the deer, before moving on.
Your next appointment is with an Greek-born American who emigrated to The Netherlands 16 year ago. You just spoke with her for the first time today, but she invited you out to their farm in your very first conversation... and you can hardly wait.
Both the farm, and your new acquaintance, exceed every expectation. The afternoon is dream-like, and as you follow your hostess on a tour of the orchards and gardens, strolling past impeccably manicured hedges and time-worn stone sculptures, a large owl drops out of a nearby tree, nearly brushing you with his wing before vanishing in the distance.
She takes you back to the pony, then pours you a glass of fresh-pressed apple juice as you chat in the courtyard. Ironically, your families once lived in the very same city in the U.S... the once-beautiful city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Her Dutch accent is dotted with some New England nuances, but what's fascinating is that English has long-since become her second tongue.
She's happy here, and it's easy to see why. The place has a magic to it. It's beyond words... the kind of farm you see in Martha Stewart LIVING, and wonder who actually gets invited to such incredible places.
But more importantly we really clicked, and I'm certain that we've made friends with some incredible people - all in our very first week here in Zeeland. What are the chances?