Springtime! This past winter was one of the most brutal winters in the history of Michigan winters. It was a winter inside a winter. Fortunately, even unending winters eventually come to an end. So you can imagine my delight when the first blades of grass began poking their green, hopeful heads out into the world above. A frostbitten land was in desperate need of warmth and color.

Every year in Holland, MI millions of tulips burst forth in bloom. In perfect time, the tulips unfurl their petals as if to tell the world, “Hold on, there is still a hope left in this barren land. Spring is here!” And so it was with hopeful hearts that some friends and I trekked out to Holland, eager to see the storied tulip town. Holland has a rich Dutch heritage and the streets were filled with people in traditional Dutch garb.

We walked around the Marktplaatz, a 19th-century styled marketplace filled with vendors sharing crafts and selling Dutch food. There was a shoemaker demonstrating the construction of wooden clogs, the traditional Dutch footwear. We walked around the quaint town imagining how life must have been like in the Netherlands so many long years ago.

And to top it all off, we ate street-side fried funnel cake, fried Oreos, fried cheesecake, and fried snickers (though I somewhat doubt such delicacies were available back then). Yes, it was a great day to be healthy.

But the real stars of the day were of course, the tulips. Arrayed in numerous sizes and colors like an army of multicolored soldiers, the tulips swayed in the gentle afternoon breeze. The looked cool and they knew it. Such confidence.

In fact, when I grow up I want to exude confidence and hope like those tulips. Worthy life goal?


James Issac

A whole new world, that’s where we’ll be.