Archive for April 2009

Partir, c’est mourir un peu

La France: Liberté, egalité et fraternité

We will leave “La France” in the last week of June 2009. People ask me whether I like to leave and I honestly answer no, it’s more that I am looking forward to welcome a new adventure. Walter will start his new position as dean of the graduate school of business of UCT in Cape Town, South Africa the first of July.  I feel grateful and exited to be able to have new experiences in a country from which I firmly believe that it has many possibilities. "Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world" Nelson Mandela.

I am observing the place were we lived for almost six years and I feel an intense gratitude that our family was alowed lo life her. "La Provence" is an amazing place to be. Aix-en-Provence, famous for the many fountains and last but not least for being the residence of Paul Cézanne.


Cassis with the small harbor, the many restaurants and surrounded by "Les Calanques".  I use to call it natures profound expression of abundance. I feel grateful for our house in Aubagne, the place of birth of Marcel Pagnol, the famous writer and film director. Avignon, Arles, were the dutch painter Vincent van Gogh lived and Nimes; historical richness all over.

"Vincent, Starry, starry night Don Mclean"

Starry_Night_vincent van Gogh

Every time I drove my car to Euromed, via La Gineste, I had the strong feeling of dreaming. Especially while coming back from Marseille and almost arriving Cassis.



The overwhelming view of nature’s most beautiful expression is indeed impressive. My children used to laugh at me and before I was able to express myself always said: How beautiful, watch the scenery, how grateful we should be to live her. They new my words by heart.

I will always have the memories with me of the magnificent "La Grotte Sainte Marie Madelein", Sainte Baume. How many times did I visit this glorious place. At least four times with many participants of some of “my” courses. I wanted to show them the magic of certain sacred places. Don't worry I always found connections with management. Very simple, I did not even use a lot of imagination. Of course Maria Magdalene lived her, no doubt about that. The divine feminine energy in this splendid place is remarkably present. She is welcoming every "child", with open arms, as mothers always do. How peaceful a place can be.

How can I be happy to leave a place were I spend time with so many great “kids”. Each one of them searcing for respect and love. I hope and wish that they will stay connected to their own wisdom and true nature which is: love, beauty and grace.

The lavender, the crickets in summer and a language in which even “Merde = Shit” sounds sophisticated and aristocratic. La France, represented by a president that we had interesting dialogs about in our family. Our daughter Carmen thinks he is “cute” and our son Derk Jan thinks he is more popular in foreign countries than in France.

I am sometimes wondered whether Nicolas Sarkozy would be a reincarnation of Napoleon Le Bonaparte or Louis XIV = L’ état, c’est moi, or both. At least he is not boring. Walter firmly believes that I will be rewarded as the “greatest” fan of his lovely wife Carla Bruni, since I love to listen to her music. He ordered a new flamenco CD for me, which might have some selfish reasons. 

I will leave "La France" with a deep smile, since I received more than anybody can ever imagine. I feel and experience that this is the best and most profound foundation for leaving and starting somewhere else. I received from Miriam Subirana her book: Who rules in your life? Reflections on personal power with her best wishes: that your mind is an instrument for peace, your heart a temple of pure love and your soul an agent for change”. Thank you “La France” for all my wonderful experiences.

Je t'aime.

Stromberg rode roos

I want to conclude with the words of Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien