The title is a Dutch proverb, its meaning is something like, ‘doing something in a relaxed way’, the origin of the phrase is unclear. Strangely in English it translates literally into something like “in my dead field”

So I was happy to see the first cows in the pasture last week in the green fields. Not sure about their diet, it looks homogeneously green, no unruly flowers sticking up. Not complaining though, cows in pasture is encouraging, hope to see it again and more. 

Further changes in the land around, tractor activity is increasing, preparing the fields for new crops, potatoes and sugar beets mainly. I haven’t gotten all my facts in, but I look at it all with a bit of suspicion, since the ground looks pretty poor to me, coming from the lush biodynamic world. On some fields, left-over vegetation is turning browny-orange and maybe an indication that Roundup remains the rage in agriculture, even though in the Netherlands it is prohibited to use for home/garden use since 2014. But again, I have to do some fact-checking to ground my suspicions. 

Walking and running through the fields, my daily activity, tractors left and right, temperatures are rising a bit this week and I can smell the salty air coming in from the sea, a reminder that we are close, even though separated from the water by the sea dike. Last summer also happened to be the driest year ever measured in the Netherlands, a problem for the agricultural sector. A shortage of water is a bit ironic in a country that is for about half of its area below sea-level. If we let the Earth’s water run its course, it would look very different here. Water shortage never seem to become a problem, until now. Watermanagement still focused on keeping the water in check.

This is of course the pride of the Dutch. Where elsewhere in the world I have learned to welcome and reverence water, the relationship with water in the Netherlands is different. 

The landscape I currently reside in is land that is ‘won’ by the people in their struggle against the water, their ongoing ‘fight against the sea’. War-like metaphors characterize the relationship of the Dutch with the water. The land is theirs, conquered in this fight, the landscape a manufactured feat. A different mindset altogether. These kind of metaphors are all around us now, in our so-called fights against climate change. How is it we made nature our enemy. What we should struggle with is maybe our own behavior. Climate is doing its thing, always has, like water. Maybe it is time to ditch the war-like metaphors and embrace nature as a friend. An altogether different mindset. Focus on the living fields.