Student - February 26, 2019

Let the winter doldrums last a bit longer

Text:
Angelo Braam

Ha, it’s spring! No more winter dip! But wait a second: Should I really be happy about this? Blogger Angelo Braam expresses doubt.

© Sven Menschel

As I wrote last month, the winter annually zaps my motivation and energy. Ugh, a terrible period. There wasn’t much good that I could say about it. But now in mid-February as the sun shines, the flowers are ready to burst open and it’s suddenly great to be outdoors, I see once again that the winter dip always leads to a spring boost.

Collective joy
The moment that I walk outside and realise that I didn’t really need a jacket is exalting. I feel like doing everything; all those tasks waiting to be done suddenly don’t seem so numerous, and I’m overwhelmed by the desire to write and to make music. In addition, annoying things like cleaning and picking up around the house are suddenly fun. And I’m not the only one who feels this way: all of Wageningen heads outdoors and, especially in Droevendaal, people spend all day in their gardens. Collective joy enables the six of us to do mountains of unfinished work in the garden with a smile.

Best time of year
I’m aware of the fact that, without the preceding winter dip, my energy in early spring wouldn’t be so intense. This dynamic is agreeable: if I lived in a warm climate all year, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I did last week. People in warm countries try to avoid the sun. Many students from warmer countries appreciate the sun much more after they’ve survived a ‘real’ winter. Everyone seems to agree that the first days of spring are the best time of the year!

Is this extremely warm February an omen of an even drier summer?
Angelo Braam

Shamelessly early
Wait a minute. The first days of spring? It’s 20 February as I write this! The temperature outdoors should be below freezing! And we’re wearing t-shirts in the garden… Birds have begun to build nests and there are so many flowers in bloom. If it starts to freeze in the next few weeks, none of this will survive.

Is this extremely warm February an omen of an even drier summer? It’s delightful, of course, this warmth, but climate change is showing itself shamelessly early this year. These happy spring days should have waited for another month; this spring boost isn’t worth another dry summer. Give me a winter dip for another few weeks – the summer will be here soon enough. 

Angelo Braam is a second-year Bachelor’s student in International Development Studies