Chasing Windmills


Slowly floating down the canal at Kinderdjik, we looked up amazed at the giant windmills. We were told that people lived in the windmills and there was a waiting list for those who wanted to live in one. It was a beautiful, serene site, the bank lined with reeds and ducks floating nearby.

About half-way down the row of Windmills, I looked up, surprised to see a young girl perched on small shelf peaking over the big steel wheel that turned the windmill into the wind. She seemed to find it interesting to watch all the tourists come and go wondering why they were so captivated by what she simply considered to be home.

As we approached, her mother, behind the reeds, was hanging their clothes on a line to dry. This is a much simpler life than most of us live. It is a wonderful place to come of age.

Looking up I see 

Girls’ shy eyes peering at us

Wash dries in sunshine

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Merril’s Monday prompt for d’Verse is Looking Up.  Join us at:

Kinderjik Girl on the Windmill

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Who is that girl perched high on the wall
Peeking at us // she knows she won’t fall
Kinderjik girl lives in a windmill // right along the canal near by
Dreams her summer days away    watching tourists floating by
Doesn’t think it unusual to live in such a place
All her neighbors live in the same kind of space
As her mom hangs the family’s wash on the line
 She watches clouds floating and passes the time
Not much to do on a warm summer day
But dream of boys and while the time away



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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

On our trip up the Rhine River last summer, we stopped at Kinderjik to see the windmills. It was a fascinating place to visit. They took us to a working windmill and showed us all around. On the way we passed several others, but the one with the little girl caught my camera’s eye!  All of the windmills have families living in them. We were told there is a waiting list for people wanting to live there.


Wooden Shoe

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What does the little boy do who lives in the mill
Watching blades turn and water pump;
Does he dream of sailing seas to far away lands
as his wooden shoe sailboat rests on mirrored glass?


He lives on a mound surrounded by water and flowers
With hayfields and redfox-horses to share the polder beyond

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A solitary life with parents and siblings it seems
Goats in a pen and big cabbages to hoe as vegetables grow


What does the little boy dream with his toes in the stream
Perhaps his dreams are the same as yours and mine you know

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Wooden shoes sit in a row waiting for night to pass
The sailboat shoe sits quietly on mirrored glass.

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Photos of Kinderdjik: Dwight L. Roth

Kinderdijk Windmills

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At Kinderdjik, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, we visited the windmills. At the end of the canal we got a tour of the smallest windmill. The miller who lived explained how everything worked. Water is pumped from low areas and raised to higher canals which are then pumped over the dyke and into the sea by giant screws that lift thousands of gallons a minute. It was a most interesting tour. Families still live in most of the windmills.

Dutch windmills still pump
Reclaiming land from the sea
Miller lives in mill


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Photos: Dwight L. Roth