The Belgian Coast

Belgium: sixty kilometers of dunes where the summers were mild and the sea was gray or green, never blue (horrid Mediterranean blue, light without imagination). We didn’t travel abroad yet. Only rich children did that. We were children of the north, neither poor nor rich, keen on a North Sea that was welcoming and rowdy, cold and rebellious. We loved the great movement of its tides, with its strong smell of seaweed and mussels. Protected by the breakwaters, it surrendered and recaptured right at our feet vast expanses of dreams. (Luc De Heusch, Ceci n’est pas la Belgique, Brussels: Editions Complexe, 1992).