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Blog 10# You are going to miss the seasons in the Netherlands!?

Peter and I decide to emigrate to Botswana a few years ago. We are of course completely full of it and share this with everyone who wants to hear that. What I find very special are the responses from people we get. Not many people applaud it mainly because they don’t like to miss us and that is understandable and mutual. The remark: “Would you still do that at your age” I do not forget, luckily I have forgotten who said that. Suppose we turn ninety or a hundred … then we still have almost half a life ahead of us. Don’t you want to spend that time in a place where you feel at home? Or not? Then there is another comment that comes back more often: “If you live there, it is of course not the same as a holiday in which everything is fun …”. Hmmm we have been living here for eight months now and everything is nice. But actually, I want to talk in this blog about another frequently made comment: “You are going to miss the seasons in the Netherlands”.

I thought that might be true. I love the Dutch spring with the first crocuses, daffodils and tulips … the beautiful trees full with blossoms … and I love autumn with its beautiful colors … and summer with warm days at the beach. Winter, by the way, I really don’t like because I’m not made for a cool climate. But what about the seasons here in Botswana? Do they really not exist beside of a rainy and a dry season? As said, we have been living here for eight months now and we are arrived at the end of December in the rainy season so to say at the end of the African summer. At that time it has not rained much, which makes it dry at this moment. In the summer the trees are green just like in the Netherlands and among the grass on our piece of land I find beautiful flowers, although not as colorful as a crocus, but still with a beauty. In the summer it is hot but in the autumn the temperature drops and the sky is clear blue every day. The trees are still green and in June I am surprised to discover that the mopani trees are adorned in autumnal shades … warm orange, red, yellow. At the moment it is winter and cold at night, occasionally about eight degrees and it can even freeze during a cold winter. Fortunately, it is 25 degrees during the day and the sky is still clear blue. Spring is coming soon, then it will be hot again and hopefully it will start to rain a lot this year … We have never experienced spring before, but I am already curious if everything will start sprouting again and which flowers will come out of the ground. And we can start sowing!

But where do I actually want to go with this story about those seasons? A while ago I read Jaap Voigt’s book “Living and working in the rhythm of the seasons” about the four seasons and the influence they have on you as a person. That was interesting because we, as human beings, also go through a cycle of four seasons every year. Read: we should go through. In the western world we are so far away from nature that we always keep going in the hectic, whether it is winter or summer. If you look at nature then everything is at rest in the winter, it seems. A lot is happening underground, but we don’t see that. This is also a time for you and me to have a rest and to allow new ideas to be created. And then it’s spring! An explosion when everything rises above the ground. Ideas and plans, which were carefully created in the winter, can now sprout. In the summer, everything can come to full growth and bloom. In the fall, a step back may be taken until the aboveground peace of winter has returned. When I look back on our lives here, we arrived at the end of the summer in which we had two extra guest rooms set up in no time. Autumn came in which we put the finishing touches. Then it was winter and everything we had planned was almost ready and a quiet time arrived. It is best hard to get used to have a rest it if you are used to go on full power the whole year.

Another month and then spring starts here … time for the construction of our house, receiving tourists, giving training here and in the Netherlands … back in action! I am looking forward to it and I cannot wait until the summer comes when everything is in full bloom, in nature and in us!

I am happy to be one with nature again because it gives freedom, peace and new energy and new ideas arise. Why should you not start living with the seasons in the Netherlands? After all, as humans we are also nature.

Do you want to learn and experience how? Come to our information evening on 17 September in Haarzuilens and find out more about our programs in Botswana in which you go back to pure nature.