When the Netherlands is Perfect: The Gentle Grace of Holland

It occurred to me this morning I’ve never said much about the everyday beauty of the Netherlands. I’ve sat and typed through the long dark days of winter, made miserable by the relentless rain, howling wind and a chill factor that grinds the bones.

Come the spring everyone is so grateful for the rays of the sun and the odd day you can venture out without a jacket,  we’re out there living and breathing it, not writing about it.

I’ve mentioned how the Dutch cheer up amazingly when it does warm up, how the country becomes well, a whole other country. It is a glorious place of colour and gentle delights, light breezes, dappled sunlight and clean air.

Perhaps I appreciate the change more than most as I spend several hours a day wandering the leafy footpaths alongside shallow canals trying to exhaust the Archster. It’s difficult for him right now as dogs are on a leash till 1st August to protect the breeding birds, but that’s not really a hardship as it means he’s not in and out of canals every other minute. He believes his appeal to any available female lies in his casual, slobby chic  – wet and stinky.

What we have is a front row seat observing the seasonal changes up close, and it’s a marvellous show. This time of year is perhaps my favorite but from a purely practical perspective; I don’t have to wear ten layers of wind/rain proof gear or hose the dog down after every trip outdoors. We can walk,  enjoy and luxuriate in the solitude of quiet walks.

And quiet walks there are. We live a ten minute drive from the center of The Hague,  but are surrounded by woods, fields and miles of pathways through parkland. During the week we can walk and not see a soul, which is my kind of walk. In a country of over 16 million people in 16033  square miles of land that’s pretty darn good.

Admittedly the weekends are a tad more busy, but then the Captain is happy to take over dog walking duties and deal with the masses, brave soul.

Yesterday was a delight; warm, sunny and rejuvenating and I realised I’d never shared this side of the Netherlands and maybe it was time. Armed with camera and a long leash the Archster and I set off to record our circular walk from the front door, through the woods and back.

It was glorious; the only noise the cacophony of agitated birds protecting emerging young,  the shade under the trees without it’s usual chill, the open spaces bathed in soothing warmth and sunlight. Such days you want to sit, leaning against the solid strengh of a tree, absorbing  and blending  with nature, dog laying alongside panting in the sun – he’s of nordic descent and he regards the mildest of days as tropical.

So I make no apologies for posting photographs of some of the natural beauty of the country we now call home. Of course while I’ve sat here on my laptop the clouds have rolled in, the wind is screeching, but that’s what makes a day like yesterday so very special.

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
This entry was posted in Advice for New Arrivals in the Netherlands, Inspiration and Reflection, The Netherlands. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to When the Netherlands is Perfect: The Gentle Grace of Holland

  1. Alison says:

    It can be such a stunningly beautiful country. I love that as soon as the slightest bit of sun starts showing, all of the Dutch are outdoors to soak up every moment of it, even if it’s just on a dining room chair hauled out onto the sidewalk.

  2. Jane says:

    I totally agree. It is amazing how much rural beauty there is around us, way out of proportion to the population density and the number of years this land has been inhabited. The Dutch certainly know how to preserve their green spaces…

  3. Sshhhh, don’t tell everyone about the secret beauty of Nederland’s beaches and woodlands! (PS – My parents are smitten!)

  4. Poonam says:

    Jane, I too love the tranquil beauty of the Netherlands and it’s gentle, wonderful greenness. Yesterday in Amsterdam with friends, we saw a swan couple with their cygnets, what a joyful sight.

  5. susan says:

    Hear Hear!

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