Aalsmeer. This morning the water was like glass when we pushed off from the beach at Aalsmeer and paddled to the Historic Garden to volunteer.
We were the only watercraft on the water as we headed into the harbor area of Aalsmeer.
Once at the garden we were put to work fertilizing the garden. Each plant got some boost of fertilizer that will help it get a good start of nutrition for the season.
Once done with our task we headed back out onto the water. Now pushing against a headwind my muscles told me that this short paddle was longer than I wanted it be. The first paddle of the season always shows me that I was a bit lazy during the winter.
Spring here is usually a time of joy. Flowers start to peek out of the warming soil. Tourists fill the restaurants and our roadways. People make money and enjoy life.
For the last two years, the flowers still peeked out of the soil even when we were in COVID lockdown. we could enjoy the spots of color in the natural World. Life continued although altered in masks, vaccines, bogged down with protests and conspiracy theories. But, life as we experience it still remained.
Now in the last eleven days the reality of life as we know it has come into sharp focus. There is a thin line between life and death. What we do each day will determine how we view the next day or the day after next or next year or the years of our children and grandchildren. Carpe Diem!
War is not anything new.
Horrific and brutal.
Destructive and violent.
The human race has never lived without war…but we could!
WE as collective of humans can each enjoy the Spring flowers, the fresh air, the smell of laundry coming off the clothesline without the fear of attack, without worry that our neighbor might shoot us. Without the need to have a weapon in order to “protect” our property. But, we must stand and say enough violence is enough!
I was so moved over the weekend when so many thousands of people marched to ask for NO MORE WAR! In support of the Ukranine people who have suffered from this brutal attack from the Russian President.
No matter what you feel about how the American or European leadership or NATO is responding to this situation we all should step back. Look at the human toll.
As a collective of humans should we allow this to continue?
My answer is NO! I feel (after three combat zones of experience) that as a human I want to let other humans experience peace! No more blanket bombs, weapons of any sort! What a nice friendly World that would be…
No, we won’t be able to change human nature of being pissed off when the chickens you have in the your yard make a bit more noise than necessary, or being pissed off at the guy on Sunday who runs a chainsaw thus destroying the peaceful day everyone was having but… we could move forward in a more peaceful way without weapons. Hard to accomplish, yup it sure is.
Are we there yet as a human race? My guess is that we are not, but I can sure try my best to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Spring will come no matter what to us here in Europe.
Flowers will bloom.
Tourists may or may not come.
I will survive and so will my will to be a better human through kindness. Carpe Diem.
I did mix Dutch and English a bit in this title. I played with the two languages and a play on the words time and thyme (a garden plant). Hopefully it didn’t confuse my readers too much.
We headed out on Friday (the Hubby took a day off, he is working from home so this time outside of the house was needed. It felt like a day off for both of us) to Aalsmeer to the Historische Tuin (Historic Garden) where I normally volunteer each summer.
As you might have guessed normal is not normal and volunteer work is also affected. The issue with gardens that depend almost solely on volunteer workers to maintain the areas is that the garden (nature) doesn’t know there is a lurking virus. The workers (volunteers) are mostly over the age of 65 and thus puts them into the high risk group. Since I have underlying conditions that could also place me in a higher risk group, I contacted the manager in early March and told him that I would not be coming to volunteer until the rules were relaxed a bit.
This is how I social distance from the Hubby
That started to happen today. All grade school children to age 12 went back to school! Could you hear the sigh of relief from parents? The Dutch ministry is going step by step on reopening the country. The biggest near future issues that need to be solved will be with public transport, the aviation industry, and large events like soccer games or music concerts.
I made an appointment to tour the garden and take some pictures for this blog. Being the only one (with the Hubby) inside the gardens was a real treat since we haven’t been out much since this all started in March. The gardens have been working with a small skeleton crew of regular volunteers since the Prime Minister shut the country down. Some activities like the yearly plant sale were cancelled. But, like I stated, the garden continues to need attention and I was ready to see how bad things were with the limited work force.
Oh NO! He found me!!!
I was surprised! It wasn’t the normal for this time of the year but it was in great shape considering the limits that were placed on this institution with the start of the virus.
Inside one of the green houses that was newly remodeled.
Here are a few of the pictures of the gardens as it looks right now. There is not a date as of right now if or when it will be opened to the public, but when it does I would like to ask each of you (if possible) to visit.
Inside another newly remodeled green house these clematis were mostly lost two winters ago do to the poor conditions in the dated greenhouses. Now they are flourishing in this new environment.
The greenhouse rose gardens are in full bloom.
A sample of the greenhouse roses.
One of the hundreds of Lilacs in full bloom
One of my favorites as it reminds me of Minnesota, Iris in full bloom.
Flowers and Thyme
As we finished with our photo tour the Hubby and I ordered “take away” coffee and scones from the Historische Tuin Restaurant which has had to find a new way to keep in business while still maintaining social distancing. We enjoyed the backdrop of the Aalsmeer windmill and watched the boats on the canal as we sat on the bench outside the Historische Tuin. It was a perfect outing for a day off of work in these strange new times.
A special thanks to Historische Tuin Garden Manager, Dick Maarsen who approved my afternoon of photojournalism at the Historische Tuin. He and his team of limited volunteers will continue to maintain the gardens until they reopen sometime in the future.
I am sitting here this evening typing, I am feeling muscles that were dormant all winter. Nothing like shoveling wet dirt for a couple of hours to work up a sweat and have my body now inform me that I am a bit out of shape.