We just came back from ten days in the Netherlands. My wife has a fondness for flowers and tulips are at the top of her list. It was a warm, sunny day when we went to see the Keukenhof Gardens, and she was blown away by the endless variety and artistic arrangements. And then we saw acres and acres of tulips in tulip farms outside Amsterdam on our way to the quaint town of Giethoorn. She bought tulip themed pottery from Delft and they are already in a prime position in our house and tulip bulbs which, I presume, will soon produce flowers in our backyard.
We had a ‘miracle’ when we visited the Rijksmuseum – one of the great museums of the world. They were having a special show of the works of Vermeer and tickets were sold out till the middle of June. We went to the general admission and, just as we were about to leave, noticed a small queue. It turned out that, somehow, a small number of tickets were available for the Vermeer exhibit right then. So, we got to see most of the works painted by this master. My favorite is “View of Delft.”
But I digress.
There is a section of the Rijks dedicated to dollhouses. These are not playrooms for children. Rather they are exquisitely detailed reproductions of entire houses including tableaux of the master and mistress and servants.
Amsterdam, in the seventeenth century, was the most prosperous city in the world and wealthy citizens went out of their way to flaunt their riches. Dollhouses were one way to do this. The tiny piano you see in the miniature sitting room? It is a fully functioning instrument and, if your fingers were small enough, you can play Bach and Beethoven on it.
Many dollhouses cost more than the houses in whose foyers they were displayed.
Most of the dollhouses and all of the owners are now gone. And I remembered
Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
You, too, have dollhouses in your life. What are they? Setting out to identify them is a learning experience by itself.
How about letting them go before they are stripped from you as they inevitably will be some day?
Think about it.