An Ode to Meester Ruud

This is an Ode to Meester Ruud

Meester Ruud was my teacher in the first year of primary school. He called me ‘Zonnetje’, meaning ‘Little Sun’. On the last school day of that year I cried. I would miss Meester Ruud so much, since he was not going to be our teacher anymore in the years after. Time passed and when we got the news that year 5 would bring us Meester Ruud again, I remember thinking : “He will see that little Sun has disappeared”. Year 5 came and every day for the whole year he gave me the privilege to get and bring him his daily cup of coffee, which I sensed was an honour and an encouragement. Therefor I will never forget that on the last day of the year I spilled the coffee all over his desk and papers. I felt terrible. Anyway, in the last year of primary school, the event we all had been looking forward to arrived: final year’s school camp! So exciting! At the end, the final night; ‘Disco Night…yeah!’, the team of teachers handed out ‘certificates’ to every student. A personal certificate that held a short character sketch and also good luck wishes for the future. Meester Ruud handed me mine and said: “You were ‘Little Sun’, but you have grown bigger and that is why now we give you the name ‘Sunbeam’.
Shortly after that moment life became hard and for many years I believed I had lost my Sun, I thought I didn’t have that light in me anymore.
But now, approximately 25 years after Meester Ruud named me ‘Sunbeam’, I found my Sun back. My joy is bigger than my body can hold and I can not help but shining.
I wonder…what name he would give me now..

Thank you for seeing me Meester Ruud.

– Diana –


Published by Diana van der Harst

Diana van der Harst, the creator of Leftover Universe, draws inspiration for her range of work from her own life experience and from those beings; human, animal, plant and invisible, that surround her. Her love of all of life in its richness and variety has blossomed into the body of work that continues to evolve. Her work is intuitive, contemplative, spiritual, whimsical, harmonious, unique and poetic. Diana uses a range of mediums including Painting, Drawing, Photography, Illustration, Poetry, Graphics, Ceramics, Textile Art and Fashion & Textile Design thus creating a range of works that include functional objects such as pottery, blankets, cushions and bags each bearing the unique attributes of her style. For a full Artist Statement go to: For the artist's Resume go to:

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