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The Dutch winter is not a beautiful season. It takes all the strength one has and all the tricks one knows to get out of it in a good mood.

If there would be snow, or if the canals would freeze, then some people could find beauty in this season. We would go skating on natural ice and drink hot tea and mulled wine and enjoy ourselves. But the winter is mainly a rainy, dark, grey-skied time of the year.

In the past years I’ve made peace with the Dutch winter, and I found ways to cope with the winter blues, but it’s still a work in progress. This year I committed to going out with my camera and try to find beauty in the dry, empty scenery. When the whole is not as pretty as I want, looking for beautiful details might help.

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Once I started to look closer, I noticed a lot of beauty in the dying plants, in the surviving ones — like the roses that defy the season, or in naked tree branches awaiting for the return of their leaves. I also noticed that there are already signs of renewal everywhere: little buds starting their journey to spring and snow drops preparing to bloom.

It would be nice if we could follow nature’s example and slow down for these months, only to bloom again in the spring.

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