In this story we follow the adventures of the 9 year old Dutch twins, Anneke and Hans, who live near the North Sea, as they walk toward Dorpstraat - the main street in their village.
From their narrow 3-story red brick home with its steeply sloping roof, it is a good 20 minute walk to the market street.
Shopping is not just a once a week event in Holland - the Dutch make going to market almost a daily routine, stopping at the bread bakery, village butcher, cheese shop, green grocer and other specialty stores crowded together on the one-block long main shopping street - most family run for generations.
Having finished breakfast of open-faced sandwiches of peanut butter sprinkled with chocolate flecks, Anneke and Hans don their backpacks. Mother has asked them to shop for whole grain bread - which will not be many hours old - and a wedge of aged Gouda cheese, made in the town of the same name in South Holland, between Utrecht and Rotterdam.
Walking on the sidewalk along the canal, with geese wobbling on the grassy bank and mallards seeming to try to keep pace, Hans and Anneke let their arms swing back and forth while taking even rhythmic steps. They sing the A, B, C song, taking one step per letter: A, B, C, D, E, F, G - step, step, step, step, step, step, step - all the way through the song.
Their singing brings a smile to those they pass - perhaps the joy in the twin's voices is contagious.
Next they begin chanting:
"Walking along, stepping in time,
Walking along, and feeling fine.
Right foot steps out,
When left arm swings front.
And left foot steps out,
When right arm swings front.
Walking along, stepping in time,
Walking along, and feeling fine."
At their brisk pace, while singing their tunes, they arrived at Dorpstraat more refreshed than when they left home!
Dashing into the 2 shops, buying their items and storing them in their backpacks, Anneke and Hans trace a merry path home, again singing and stepping in time.
Another day, when Anneke was feeling restless, she remembered the energizing walk she and Hans had taken to the shopping street. She went outdoors and copied just what they had done before - walking briskly, arms swinging back and forth while singing, and when she came home from this 'walking meditation' she again felt relaxed and refreshed!
Story and photo of geese and mallards by canal in North Holland - Susan Helene Kramer
Note: The characters in this story are fictional.
For offline reading
Short Meditation Stories with Twins Anneke and Hans
Enjoy these 8 little meditation stories with Anneke, Hans, and friends learning meditation techniques that will stick with you like mother's pancakes and syrup on Sunday morning. Illustrated with photos of North Holland. 28 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.