Blogger Donatella Gasparro had a couple of way too busy weeks. She found herself regenerating while establishing a food forest.
© Sven Menschel
Three degrees, dark days, work overload. They call it winter dip: welcome to the North. I had a couple of very (way too) busy weeks that required a lot of energy and left me quite empty. It is so easy to surrender to negative thoughts and confusion for no particular reason when you’re just very tired. And spending most of the day in front of a laptop does not help. Sometimes, all I need is just to go outside: outside of my head, yes, but especially outside – outside of any room or building.
Sunny weekends were invented exactly for this reason, right? What a blessing! After being blue and feeling lost for several days, guess what: wild blueberries made my day. And the entire week after. Autumn is one of the irreplaceable things in this part of the world: it feels like walking in a painting. Back home, we have fewer tree species that lose their leaves in winter. Here, trees explode in the warmest imaginable colours, and the forest is just the best place to be, especially from October to the end of November. The colours, the light, the silence: they truly regenerate me. And walking, just walking on the crunchy leaves and giving myself the luxury of being a just-a-bit-too-tall kid.
Outdoors & physical activity: that’s the recipe. And if you can combine both, even better. Add a pinch of friends and you’re invincible. This is what happened one lucky sunny Saturday at the Droevendaal experimental farm, on Campus: a great bunch of people came together to establish what will soon be Wageningen University’s food forest.* Gloves on, spades at hand, full wheelbarrows and a lot of motivation: dozens of trees were planted and mulched, lunch was shared, muscles where exercised and sunlight was fully enjoyed. Plus, carbon will soon start to be sequestered. Perfect, right?
Being physically tired and spending time outside can really make the magic happen sometimes: the brain rests, the air refreshes the thoughts, the body gets some stuff to do too. And the week can start with renewed energy and positivity. And even those three degrees in the morning have a different effect: hey, nice and fresh today! Long live huge warm scarves and double-layered gloves…
*Did you miss this working session? Don’t worry: more will follow soon. Ask around!
Donatella Gasparro is a master’s student in Organic Agriculture.