Hendrik, how I look up to you now
A person can sometimes feel so great and powerful that he gives another person the impression that he indeed possesses those inner powers.
Usually people realize after a short time that this greatness was only pretence and they see the gent toppling from his pedestal.
However, some time a person must master that strength of mind and receives his first flower, intended for the other heart.
You have then laid a foundation for yourself, not only for your social standing but above all for your personality.
There are people who claim, I can do this, I can do that and it is absolutely no problem to me.
I will, if it is necessary, stake my life and go through thick and thin for you.
I am capable of this.
Do not believe them too quickly, but wait until they have given proof of this.
You meet these people all around your life.
You come across that sort of boasting everywhere and it has already destroyed a lot of good things in life.
Only bits and pieces would remain of such a personality, if it really came to it.
The familiar consequence, a broken vase, fallen to pieces, knocked down by a mad dog.
Then you discovered the decrepit spiritual poverty.
You had not received an orchid but a bunch of flowers worth ten cents.
And yet, they assured you, they gave you an orchid, and they probably believed that its natural life would never wither.
Never, and ever.
They were mighty strong at the moment of presentation in their faith.
Tall Hendrik also gave Crisje an orchid.
And a white one at that, since he let his chance to be able to go and sing in the opera go by and remained with wife and children, chose peace and pure love above riches and admiration and a nice social life.
But Crisje knew that her husband had not nearly defeated that little devil yet; it is true that the first attack was refused but was it so certain that a second one wouldn’t follow?
Then that orchid would be a flower, cultivated on the manure heap.
An evil-smelling thing, from which you turned your head as it gave out a smell which overcame you, and turned your stomach, and had only come to life through troubles.
But Crisje didn’t want a flower like that, it would destroy her life.
Why do people give each other orchids, Crisje wonders?
But why should it be those expensive flowers, with which so much beauty is given?
An orchid is a flower of your heart, which indicates love, respect, trust, authority and truth.
That is the flower for Crisje.
An orchid represents Our Lord, heavens, light and justice, everything, which is beautiful, also marriage!
An orchid cannot serve for lies, deception, destruction, contamination and defilement; this flower is too pure for that, too spiritual.
Or, thinks Crisje, could I be wrong?
Crisje is an extraordinary character.
Not only because she receives communion almost every morning and prays for everyone, but she also lives and acts according to her faith, yet she does not wish to be deceived by others,
or under any circumstances by her Tall Hendrik.
Father also knows that, people in the whole area know, even as far as the heavens.
But what does Tall Hendrik think about it?
If Crisje knew for certain that her Hendrik could give her such an orchid, she would experience a happiness to which he, who already cannot cope with all her love, would succumb.
However, Crisje feels she cannot be pleased before Tall Hendrik has proved that he has beaten the attack of the devil for his whole life.
Only then will Crisje accept his orchid!
Crisje has a character with a psychological streak, although she is not conscious of it herself.
It is so natural and strong that no science can compete with it.
Her psychology, which emerged from respect and love, therefore gives her a correct insight into all the things which have to do with the soul and feeling.
And Crisje does not allow that clear insight to become clouded.
She is very careful on this point!
Crisje does not let herself be cheated easily, not by Hendrik either.
He can try and kid her as much as he wants, deep in her inner life there is a door, watched over by a few sentries, who watch closely that everything which tries to come in is pure truth and really meant, otherwise there will be troubles once more, and that must be prevented at all costs.
Her psychology tells her: keep your happiness clean and pure and do not allow it to be contaminated.
Your inner being belongs to Our Lord and anyone who wishes to be allowed in, must first be able to produce proof that they deserve to be there.
Backbiting is not tolerated.
Did Hendrik really think that he could pin a buttercup for an orchid on her breast?
If he tried that, he would get what for.
Those sentries are also there for him, yes precisely for him to whom she has connected herself, for whom she would live and die.
But such a thing does have meaning, doesn’t it?
It is also unknown to Crisje what townsfolk think of this, but for her the main thing is that an orchid offered is clean and pure and there is proof of it.
Crisje waits patiently.
Tall Hendrik has told her that he has said goodbye to the prospect of becoming an opera singer.
But she also knows that the orchid offered to her, as a gift, has not yet reached full bloom.
However, Crisje knows that Tall Hendrik has not recovered completely from his desire.
When he came back from Wezel some time ago, where the quartet had achieved great success, Tall Hendrik saw himself on stage again, he had money once more and riches for his wife, and flowers which he could lay in her arms every evening.
Crisje listened to him for only a moment.
Then she knew enough.
The orchid had been given, but before it could reach full growth, it had withered and died.
However much Hendrik assured her emphatically that he couldn’t care less about it, Crisje felt there was still a catch somewhere.
His claim from last year that he had dealt with his longing for the opera was only show.
He had not yet conquered it.
No, Tall Hendrik, Crisje laughed at you to herself.
She did not believe you yet, could not believe you, because she knew, that same devil would return again.
Did you really think that he would leave it at one attack?
And did you think by conquering that one attack you had proven what you can and what you want?
No, Tall Hendrik, you cannot fool Crisje.
Months go by.
Crisje waits and every day they live in a paradise.
She cannot get over her happiness.
But she is on her guard and waits for the attack to come.
If it is conquered, then she will receive a new orchid and will pin it on her coat.
Then she will kiss him so that he feels her lifeblood.
Just you give me your life, Tall Hendrik, with this we will give new life to a soul.
But the proof from Tall Hendrik does not come.
She has to wait and waiting takes a long time, although not for the concept of eternity.
However, she hopes that her Hendrik will give her the proof, but then completely of his own accord, not forced by a plea, not that, but of his own free will and out of love.
Crisje looks at the clock, the dinner is being cooked to a pulp.
Hendrik is not coming.
Where could he be for such a long time?
Johan and Bernard are pulling at her skirt.
They are hungry and want to eat.
But what is keeping Hendrik?
Could something be the matter?
She is not worried, on the contrary, a happy feeling enters her spirit.
She couldn’t say where it came from, but it makes her heart joyful.
She starts to hum because of it.
The boys get something nice to eat.
That is allowed today, because it will be a special day.
Why, Crisje can’t say, but she knows that it is connected with her Tall Hendrik.
It is Hendrik.
Her sensitivity and unity with this bubbling life, her husband and the father of her boys.
They are her universal feelings.
It comes to her straight from Emmerik.
Crisje would give her life for it.
So sure is she of her feelings and thoughts.
And that, she also knows, is something everyone has.
And everyone sometimes feels something of the being that they love.
Something then enters you, which you can find no words for.
But it’s there!
Yet, she does not pursue it immediately.
She wants certainty first.
Well, that certainty approaches the house, she hears the gravel crunching.
The boys race to the door and call:
“Father’s here, mother, father’s here.”
The boys hang on his coat and let themselves be dragged along.
Then, they already know that it is mother’s turn.
Crisje is now lifted and floats between heaven and earth and is taken care of by Tall Hendrik.
Johan and Bernard watch the scene, laughing.
“But how our father can kiss, or not, Bennad?”, says Johan.
Tall Hendrik laughs.
He hears it and puts Crisje down.
It brought him back to reality for a moment.
“Have you something to confess to me, Cris?”
“No, nothing, Hendrik, nothing.”
“And the boys?”
“Them, Hendrik ...”
Johan and Bernard are already looking at their father and mother,
Because they know that this is asked every night.
And the answer can mean the order for a hiding.
“Mother, mother, make allowances.
I will improve my life.”
But Crisje cannot lie.
But now there is really nothing.
“No, Hendrik, I have no complaints about them.”
Bernard and Johan are happy.
They have been weighed and not considered too light today.
Woe the boys, woe them, if they got up to mischief which will no longer do.
Then they will get it from their father, who wants to make men of his children and foster respect for father and mother and the whole of humanity.
Tall Hendrik starts to play-fight with Crisje and pulls her onto his knees.
“Let go of me, fool, idiot that you are, do you have nothing to confess yourself?”
Hendrik becomes silent.
Crisje thinks, that’s it now.
“What is it, Hendrik?”
However, he cannot speak yet.
He now wants to tell of this happiness in nice, clear words.
He wants to emphasise them and give this great happiness a nice shape, with which Crisje will be very happy.
But although she has already felt it, she still wants to hear everything from his mouth.
She will not take anything away from her Tall Hendrik.
She is so generous.
He will also get his orchid.
“What is it, Hendrik?”
“Just be quiet, Cris, I’m ready.
Now listen carefully.
Do you still remember that we went to Wezel to sing?”
“Of course, Hendrik.”
“Well, here’s the story, Cris.
This afternoon there were two men at work.
And these men asked me” ...
Crisje is already beaming and drinks in the light from his eyes.
She is enjoying herself.
The orchid is there ... “whether I was sure I didn’t want to perform.”
It’s been said.
Tall Hendrik smacks his lips and looks at her.
Crisje waits, come on, tell her, Hendrik.
She meets him halfway.
“Cris ..., you will be pleased about it.
I said: ‘Blow your stage.
You can keep your money and rubbish.
You can ...’.
My God, Cris ... how angry I became.”
It’s been said.
Tall Hendrik cuddles Crisje’s chest and face.
Her apron flies over his head.
She messes up his black hair, shakes him and presses him to her heart.
There is no end to it.
They are not alone, the boys are there too.
Hendrik, Hendrik, now, now.
“Hendrik, how I look up to you now!”
“I have refused everything, Cris.
And now I am happy.”
Tall Hendrik lets out a sigh from it.
Crisje is crying.
What a day it is.
How can she thank Our Lord for this?
Life is a blessing, life is heaven on earth, if only you wish to see that heaven.
Crisje shuffles over to Hent Klink’s.
She wants three measures.
She wants to treat her Hendrik.
Then they have their meal.
Later they are sitting at ease and start to discuss it.
The boys have gone to bed.
Hendrik grabs his violin, but he hardly has it in his hands when Gerrit comes in.
“I’m lucky”, says Gerrit.
“A person must have a good nose.
And bitters as well.
It is good for my stomach pain and I’ve been bothered with it for the past few days, Cris.”
Crisje knows him and she also knows how troublesome it is.
It will be another good evening.
Does Gerrit know already?
No, he doesn’t, does he?
Then she will tell him something.
“To Hendrik’s health, Gerrit.”
Then Gerrit hears about the decision that Tall Hendrik has made.
“That is truly worthwhile, Hendrik.
But what a devil of a problem.
Thank Goodness that there are such strong people in our family.
What does money matter to us, what does a nice house, what does a million mean to us?
The world can disappear for all we care.
The bitters are gone.
Gerrit sighs, presses his stomach upwards and starts speaking Italian and French.
Life is good like this.
The boys are allowed to sing in bed.
Johan is already whistling, they egg each other on and have to take part.
That is allowed for now, life is for everybody, as is happiness.
You do not have to share troubles with the children, they are too young for that.
Now Jan Maandag comes as well.
Jan also thinks it is a fantastic achievement.
Jan knows Tall Hendrik and thinks it is really something.
And again, but now different, in their imagination, they are really flying over the stage, they are travelling through Italy and France and kiss the world as if it is nothing.
They are in London and Paris, because Tall Hendrik also performs there.
They also go to New York, look at the other people and come home with cart loads full of flowers for Crisje.
Take them Crisje, nice presents for you and the children.
Take them, this is from myself.
Fanny, Johan and Bernard’s dog, who received a place in their midst just after the birth of Jeus, sniffs Gerrit’s trousers and thinks that Gerrit has a dog smell about him.
Gerrit never brings his dearest dog with him.
He knows that there will be trouble.
Fanny does not tolerate any other dog in the house.
The animal is already great friends with Jeus, even if it’s Johan and Bernard who romp about with it outside.
“Go away, Fanny”, Gerrit says to the dog, “you hate my Nico, you are not in my good books.”
Gerrit warms up, swallows a few times and licks with his tongue.
That carries on for a while and is repeated with the necessary variations.
Gerrit likes a good drink.
He does it with a certain pose and everyone keeps looking when he places his glass to his mouth and takes a sip.
Johan, who saw that happening once, said to his mother:
“Mother, that is just as if the mayor is having his drink.”
When Crisje didn’t really understand what Johan meant, he continued: “Now, you should see him, mother, later, when I am grown up I will take my drink like that.”
What is Johan funny.
When Crisje told her Hendrik about it, he nearly died laughing.
Johan and a drink made four together.
Gerrit also knows that and laughed as well.
He knows that all those things increase the excitement and his story is at its best.
“First, I will begin with you, Cris.
I want to make you happy as well, don’t I?
I had this idea, let me make Cris happy.
You are always sitting here drinking away.
What do you think of Frances and Fassisi, Cris?”
You may not sully holy names from Crisje.
She is immediately on top of it and corrects Gerrit.
“It is called Assisi, Gerrit.”
“I will tell you something, Cris.
I know all those saints and they know me.
Yesterday one of them said to me: ‘Gerrit, you must please yourself more, you work much too hard.’
Now Cris, you should have seen that holy child watching.
But I already know that you want to have Our Lord on the cross.
Am I right or not?”
Crisje is on cloud nine.
This is a gift.
“Will you do that, Gerrit?”
“Of course, Cris, otherwise I wouldn’t have started about it.”
Gerrit gossips a bit, but Gerrit always keeps his word.
It takes a while but it comes.
Some fine day Crisje will get her Lord carved in wood.
But Gerrit hasn’t finished yet.
He is talking, the others are listening.
Whatever will they hear next?
Hendrik is already chuckling, of course there will be another tall story full of lies.
Crisje has already received something.
Now the rest will follow.
Gerrit first looks at everybody in turn.
He wants to wring the necks of Crisje’s friends and starts to chuckle.
“Did you hear, Hendrik, what Casje has been up to again?”
The eyes go to Crisje.
“I was told that by Hent.”
“From that cheating dog”, Crisje reacts immediately.
“Now you must be patient, Cris.
You don’t know everything about your Casje.
You believe people far too much.
I must also warn you, Hendrik.”
“You are telling lies, Gerrit.”
“None of it, Cris, now wait a minute.
Casje was in the country last week.
He wants to sell something to that rabbit poacher.
You know who that is, that crook, who cannot leave anything, and who can use everything.
At the binding factory he stole for thousands of guilders, you know as well, and it is him!
That wife of his is at home, but doesn’t have a cent to buy anything.
What happens now?
It gets to Casje and he throws himself on the ground.
You know as well as I do that it sometimes gets to him.”
This is going too far.
Tall Hendrik has to silence Crisje, he wants to hear what kind of nonsense Gerrit will come out with next.
But Crisje no longer wishes to listen.
“That is taking away people’s dignity, Gerrit.”
“You don’t know what’s coming, Cris.
Wait a minute!
You will say I was right as well.”
“You would like that.”
“And here it comes, Cris.’
Gerrit keeps them waiting again for a moment.
First a sip, that takes forever.
Crisje falls for it, she says:
“And what happened, Gerrit?”
“See, Cris, but now you are getting interested, aren’t you?
And I want that, or there is no fun in it.
Now Casje throws himself on the ground and screams at that woman ...: “Now look in my apple tree!”
“Good grief”, Crisje shrieks with laughter, “but what a bunch of lies.”
Hendrik and Jan laugh themselves silly.
Tall Hendrik can’t stop, Crisje doesn’t know what to say and Gerrit feels his success.
He adds to the story.
“And now Cris, the worst part.”
“I don’t want to hear any more about it, Gerrit, nothing!
They are lies!”
Hendrik, you ask Hent, then you will hear.
At that moment the man comes home, Cris.
Casje is lying on the ground and that woman is laughing herself silly.
That crook looked for a minute, grasped Casje by his collar and threw him into the middle of the street.
Casje is gone, he doesn’t know now where he should go so quickly and forgets his wares.
Hent told me as well, and Hent thinks that’s the worst part, now that bandit is trying to flog Casje’s things.
Hent said we must all stop him from doing that.
He mustn’t be able to sell a thing.
If he comes here, Cris, you’ve been warned.
“You are madder than the worst madman in a lunatic asylum, Gerrit.”
“Is that not ungrateful, Hendrik?
Would you have thought that?
I’m telling you, keep an eye on that man!”
Tall Hendrik thinks it is a great joke and pours Gerrit another drink.
But Crisje hasn’t finished yet.
“See Cris, you just want to protect everything, but that’s isn’t possible.
You must be able to tell right from wrong.
And that isn’t so easy.
You want to protect everything, but the saint also told me, that’s wrong!
But now something else.
My God, what a bother I had this week with Hanneke.”
They already make themselves comfortable, there will be another good story.
Crisje is also listening, when Gerrit involves Hanneke it is a funfair.
“Cris, you know our Hanneke, don’t you?
She can’t help being a bit dry.
And that she doesn’t have a husband yet, is exactly the same and she can’t help that either, because Hanneke is not just anybody.
You know that as well.
True or not, Cris?”
Crisje doesn’t say a word and waits, Gerrit continues:
“I am getting changed and had an appointment in Emmerik with an elder to change one thing and another about the ornament.
But when I was sitting there looking at myself, Cris, I thought, Gerrit, Gerrit, my boy, you really are a handsome man.
A damn shame, that you don’t have a nice wife.
I asked Hanneke, what do you think of me?”
“Do you want to get married, Gerrit”, she asked.
“And I hadn’t yet thought of that myself, Cris.
And what do you think Hanneke asked me?
Don’t you know what?
You can’t guess either.
Hanneke said to me: ‘Gerrit, if you are in Italy again you must see if you can find a good husband for me.’
And I am not a person, Cris, to just send other men, and strangers at that, to Hanneke.
I thought there is still always Jan Maondag!”
Jan hadn’t counted on this and blushes to behind his ears.
Gerrit now starts on Jan and says to Tall Hendrik:
“Do you know, Hendrik, what that is?
Why does Jan always get such red lugs on his head when we talk about women?
Can Jan not handle it?”
Jan laughs as if he has toothache.
He doesn’t know which way to turn.
His shyness sets Gerrit and Tall Hendrik off laughing.
Crisje also likes this joke.
What kind of strange people live in this world, but this is quite normal, isn’t it?
Gerrit has finished his drink and wants another one.
He already has some excuse for it.
He looks at his glass and starts a new story.
“I had a dream during the week, Hendrik, that was not for the soft hearted.
I took flight in my dream and landed at the feet of Saint Peter.
Saint Peter keeps watch for Our Lord, Cris.
And he must examine the people now and again, even while they are here on earth.
He said to me: ‘Gerrit, you are not looking very well.
You must drink some good bitters now and again!
That is good for everything!’
I say to him: ‘Goodness me, how you know what a person deserves.’”
Hendrik almost falls off his chair laughing as he takes Gerrit’s empty glass and refills it.
Now, with his full glass of bitters, Gerrit continues without hesitation.
“Without this, Cris, you can’t tell stories, can you?
But now, goodness gracious, why didn’t I think of that?”
Gerrit joins in the laughter himself and they understand that there is more foolishness to follow.
“Listen to this, Hendrik, what a drama I had this week!
Hanneke has had a toothache all this week.
When I came home in the evening, she was sitting there with a cloth round her head and mewing.
I couldn’t stand it any longer.
I asked her why don’t you go to the dentist?
But she is too cowardly for that.
She doesn’t dare, that dry Hanneke, she won’t have any of it.
I thought, please yourself then.
But I had to get up every night.
I gave her a dram, but I thought I could do with some myself.
And when she had had three, Hendrik, she was as drunk as a lord.
She then went to sleep but the next day the very same thing.
Then I said: ‘Go to Manus.
You know Manus.
Go to Manus, he can help you.’
I thought, I will hear about that, Hanneke and Manus.
She asked me: ‘What does he do then, Gerrit?’
I say: ‘He can heal.
He does it with his thumb.’
I show her, because I know how he does it.
I must say, that even if he drinks like a fish, Manus can heal.
And what it is, Hendrik, you can laugh about it now, you can make fun of it, you can say nonsense, imagination, or whatever you like, Manus can heal.
Gosh, when you think about it, Hendrik, it is a strange thing, don’t you think?”
“And did she go, Gerrit?”, Crisje asks tensely.
“You believe me Cris?
Do you think that I am telling the truth now?”
“You already said a while ago that her teeth were bothering her, didn’t you?”
“Thank God, Cris, that you remembered that.
Yes, she went.
But it certainly was a business, really!
She went, but she had to come back in the afternoon, Manus had three horses to shoe.
Hanneke goes back to Manus in the afternoon.
People, I laughed myself sick.
I can still see them in my mind’s eye.
Manus said: ‘Just come and sit here.’
Hanneke looks at Manus.
Then he comes with his thumb on her face and makes the sign of the cross.
He first asks: ‘Can you pray, Hanneke?’
She says: ‘Of course.
I go to church, don’t I?
I go to communion every week.’
‘That’s great’, he said, ‘because it will go away on its own.’
Manus starts praying.
Hanneke closes her eyes for a minute, in Hanneke’s opinion, Manus is taking too long and she looks at him for a minute.
She said to him: ‘What a long time it’s taking, Manus?’
He said, as Hanneke told me, Cris: ‘That is a bad one, Hanneke.
It needs a lot.’
Manus continues to pray, his thumb does the rest.
But when Hanneke closes her eyes, Manus grabs her by her collar and touches her body.
Hanneke throws Manus off her and flies out the door.
When I came home in the evening Hanneke is sitting crying.
I’m hardly in the door when it started already.
‘You’re a fine one.
How can you send me to such a dirty man.’
I asked: ‘What’s the matter?’
‘That dirty man was touching my body.
It is scandalous!
I got the jitters.
How can you do this to me, Gerrit?’
But now Hanneke, however strange it is, Hendrik, is rid of her toothache.
Days afterwards she said: ‘Is it possible that that man still helped me?’
‘But I told you so’, I said.
The toothache was gone and you can think what you like, I’ve got my peace back at home.
But you would be driven mad.
I said to Hanneke as well: ‘Manus always looks where the nerves are.
And they are sometimes somewhere else, they are not always under the teeth, but sometimes on the stomach or anywhere for that matter.’
And then Hanneke said: ‘You and your Manus can take a running jump for all I care.
You and your Manus are sozzled, are absolutely mad.
You and your Manus ...’
But then, Cris, I just walked out, because no one could stand that.”
They let Gerrit calmly finish his story and are bent double again from laughter.
Crisje thinks that it really did happen like that.
Crisje really thinks that it is the truth.
“Did she really go to Manus, Gerrit?”
“Yes, Cris, as sure as I’m alive, she was there.”
“You mean it?”, asks Jan.
“But I said that.
You can think what you like, but Manus has something in his hands.
Even if they are so black, he can cure a toothache!
How many people has he helped already?
They can’t be counted.
And he has a good drink on them.
Not even two minutes later you will find him at Hent Klink’s.
But nonsense is nonsense, Hanneke is rid of her toothache.
And that is already a few days ago.
Is that maybe sorcery, Hendrik?”
They do not know.
But Manus can certainly get rid of a toothache.
Manus Reusel possesses something and there are more people like that who can heal.
What it all is they couldn’t say, but they had a wonderful time anyway with the story told by Gerrit.
What a pity that Peter isn’t here.
They could have laughed about that funny language of Peter and he could have joined in himself.
Such evenings are one of their few pleasures.
Working every day until they are blue in the face and now and again some diversion from this earth.
Gerrit, Peter and Jan are Tall Hendrik’s best friends.
Of course he has more, but the friendship of these four, for each other, is much greater and deeper.
They form the ‘quartet’ and ensure that a week of hard drudgery doesn’t last too long.
Without Gerrit this life wouldn’t be worth very much anymore.
Jan comes often.
They play cards, they chew tobacco and smoke, make music, have a drink and know nothing about town life.
They also do not want anything to do with it and are happy anyway.
Tall Hendrik continually thinks of something new, works hard, continually invents something to earn more money.
Crisje likes it when the men are together.
She knows them and they are also her friends.
If they didn’t have this, life, even though they have so much in each other, would be worth much less and that is not the intention of Our Lord.
Gerrit feels that they should leave.
They say their farewells.
When they are gone, Crisje says to her husband:
“It’s really a pity, Hendrik, that Gerrit doesn’t have a good wife!
I can understand it of Jan, he is as bashful as a child, but Gerrit?”
“That’s up to them, Cris.
They do not know what kissing is!”
Tall Hendrik cuddles his wife again, so that she gets short of breath.
But she is deliriously happy and proud of him and cannot say enough about it that Tall Hendrik has now conquered his devil and it no longer gets the chance to destroy their lives.
What would have become of it and what could she have done?
Go and live in the town or travel along?
Flying around this horrible world?
Crisje would never feel at home in the town and would die of homesickness.
The living habits of these people are completely strange to her.
They live aimlessly and do not pay any attention to Our Lord.
No, that is nothing for Crisje.
Tall Hendrik therefore knows, he would have consciously murdered this life!
Like this, Crisje, it is good.
You do not have to talk about it anymore.
This is it.
Tall Hendrik doesn’t need the stage.
You cannot buy happiness with money and jewels, at least the happiness, which you now have.
What makes people in the town happy is completely different from here in the country, even if the mice are lying dead in front of the cupboard.
In addition, Crisje doesn’t lack for anything.
If you could look behind all those nice and beautiful things, the big houses, that busy carry-on and the so-called merriment of those town people, then you wouldn’t see mice, but rats lying dead in front of the cupboard.
Crisje has now received her ‘orchid’ from her Hendrik.
It has become quiet in the house.
They feel a peace coming over them and it is as if the heavens are smiling at them.
Not a word is said.
It has suddenly come to them and has carried them away from this world as it were.
Hendrik and Crisje are in a paradise and are sitting there under a tree.
Look, Crisje, a bird is flying over to us.
I see that the creature has a piece of paper in its beak.
What message could it contain?
It drops the note in front of Tall Hendrik.
He picks it up and reads:
‘I have no more worries about you two.
But take care of yourself.’
Greetings from Our Lord!
Crisje now knows that the next boy will be called Gerrit.
Not after this Gerrit, but after her own brother.
“Or”, she says to her Hendrik, “do you have another name for him?”
Where they look there are orchids growing!
They do not touch them, they only look.
Crisje looks into the universe.
She takes flight, Tall Hendrik follows her, but now their eyes close, the gate to paradise is closed.
Our Lord is watching.
He is always watching, continually, day and night, over people of good will!
Gerrit and Jan have no understanding of this.
They still have to be reborn!
“But thank you, Our Lord, thank you very much.
You did that!
I am grateful to You, as long as You know!
I will continue to do my best, I promise You!”
In the whole of this area people do not understand what it is.
It lives here!
And everyone could give it to themselves as well ...
It costs nothing.
You only have to do something for it.
That is all!
“And a dead sparrow has some of it too, and that is just a sparrow!
And we are people!
Men and women!
Tall Hendrik is a king!”