A leaf out of Nature’s book

Old Grunn is full of surprises. One day it’s icy drizzle, the next, snow, and then all of a sudden, murderous headwinds that’ll have you questioning all your life choices. Maybe that’s exactly what we need.

Late winter is a mood of its own. It might be the overhanging low pressure system, or the long spate of no-frills days of the bread-and-peanut-butter variety spent cooped up in our damp single-glazed matchboxes, but the words ‘joie de vivre’ seem to have dropped out of the dictionary.  

Frustration turns to quiet resignation as even the chirpiest and larkiest of your mates transform into an implacable band of aso’s. It’s the sort of glum, thankless all-round atmosphere that makes you forget the good things in life. Little wonder then, that late winter’s smack-bang in the middle of the penitential season. 

Or perhaps it’s our perception that’s off. Perhaps, if we only turned our heads sideways and squinted one eye, we’d be able to see the same magic that the Romantic poets saw in this rough time of year. To see that the desperation that comes with it is a natural invitation to break with old, tired patterns and hope and strive for the newer and better instead. 

In late winter, even the chirpiest and larkiest of your mates transform into an implacable band of aso‘s

In that case, you needn’t look far. Whether it’s a new language, or sport, or an obscure, esoteric field of interest you’re after, you’re bound to find the resources and a devoted community to boot in one nook or other of this lovely city. I’ve seen many a personal crisis averted by as little as rearranged furniture and an extra hobby. 

The classic spirit of the season was to get out of yourself and look to your neighbour’s needs. Groningen, with her food and clothing banks, numerous shelters and charitable organisations, bears testament to that warm-hearted ethos. It’s an ethos for all to emulate. Who knows how much a helping hand’s worth to a struggling friend? 

All across Grunn, the flowers and birds peek out of their slumber in anticipation of spring. Perhaps we ought to take a leaf out of Nature’s book for a change, and follow suit. 


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