After all those weeks of strong winds, rain, and even storms, the Dutch weather finally seems to be improving again. Blue and sunny skies, chirping birds, and flowers starting to bloom – a sign that spring has begun.
Because the Netherlands doesn’t get a lot of sun throughout the year, people take every chance they get to enjoy the sun when it’s finally there. Thus, once the weather gets pleasant enough, you start seeing more people outside: people running, walking, or cycling, and children playing outside – all things that are done throughout the year, but simply seem to be done and enjoyed more when the weather improves. When walking outside, you can see a big difference between people: Some are dressed like it’s five degrees below zero, while others look like they are going to the beach and are already tanning in their front yard. This weird period between the cold and warmth also requires you to think thoroughly about your outfit for the day as you can be freezing for one moment and sweating the next. I guess it’s time to bring out that coat you can only wear around once a year.
Another thing that cannot be forgotten at this time of year is the ‘revival’ of the terraces, which can be considered an (unofficial) sign for the beginning of spring in the Netherlands. Wanting to take full advantage of the long-awaited sun, Dutchies fight for a spot on one of the terraces to grab a drink, usually with friends or family. So, if you want to get the most out of this moment, you have to be quick – the terraces will be full before you know it.
I, too, am one of those people that takes full advantage of the sunny weather – I have lunch in the garden instead of inside, take my bike to work more instead of going by bus, and, of course, sit on a sunny terrace sometimes. I seem to feel instantly happier when the sun shines and that is also one of the reasons why spring is my favorite season of the year. It is a season of new growth, warmer and sunnier days, and overall positivity. What more could you want?
Although this blog post is positive, I am aware life can be hard during these troubling times and I wish all people who are affected a lot of strength. I do hope you can find some pieces of calmness and joy in the good weather and in other things or people.
Author: Marit van der Kwaak
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Lam Ngoc Do