I feel like a windmill. I just keep going around in circles, not really accomplishing anything or getting anywhere. That’s what I was thinking as I ran into some windmill pictures in the “Holland” file I was cleaning out. I’d been trying to get more organized, for instance, an eternal battle for me. I thought about how there are so many details in this life to take care of, and how so much I do seems like routine. There are wild goose chases and paper chases and then I find I’m back where I was before. In other words, I was feeling kind of discouraged. But then something occurred to me. The windmill may look like it’s just going around in circles and not accomplishing much, but it certainly made a big difference to my ancestors in Holland, the land where I was born.
Because the Dutch have always been short on land for its citizens, (Holland is about the sixth of the size of Utah, and presently has about seventeen million people) through the years they have “borrowed” it from the bottom of the sea. Yes, nearly a third of Holland is below sea level. There were no electrical motors years ago and my ancestors attached pumping apparatus to their windmills. The windmills then helped drain water from this new land that the Dutch had diked off. Then windmills kept the land drained as my ancestors farmed it, grazed their cattle on it, built homes on it, and raised their families on it. They also planted rows and rows of flowers especially tulips (my favorite) that they still ship all over the world and that brighten yards and gardens everywhere. The windmills even helped grind wheat so that my ancestors and others could eat bread (the staff of life, as they say.) It was because of windmills, my ancestors were able to have enough land and enough food to have families, and here’s a humbling thought. Maybe it was because of windmills that eventually my grandparents could have ten children who then gave birth to my cousins and me.
As I travel here in America where my family relocated, I’ve seen long stretches of American style steel windmills, which are less picturesque but undoubtedly more efficient. As they continue being built, they will hopefully help provide fuel for my children and their children— my progenitors, in other words.
Soooo, here’s what I discovered. It may look like the windmill does nothing more than turn around in circles, but the truth is different.
What about me? Am I accomplishing more than I think I am as I move around in endless circles of routine through my life? Could it be that like the windmill I’m making a bigger difference than I think? Are we all having more impact than we realize as we go about “the daily grind” as we call it. I’m beginning to realize that this just might be the case and that like the windmill, we each become powerful and useful as we too take advantage of unseen sources, in our case, heavenly sources such as love and inspiration. As I think about it, I realize that now that I’m getting older I am seeing the results of what I consider eternal efforts and they are far-reaching. And that’s the conclusion I’ve come to about windmills and life.