I spent quite some time on Google looking for Dutch dirty-white sky pictures, the kind of sky that is so typical in this part of the planet. It is that light grey, almost homogeneous, and it stays like that whole day long, sometimes for days. I took the picture you can see in this post and I showed it to friends and relatives in Italy: they say it looks like it’s about to snow. And it’s true: in the south of Italy, where I come from, such a completely covered sky is the infallibe messenger of snowflakes. Well, you can imagine how likely it is to see snow in the south of Italy…
Here, in the Netherlands, it is not about to rain, nor about to snow.
It just is- As the sky were a blank canvas the god of the weather decides every day if and how to paint: it can be the total blue of a mediterranean spring, or the rich cloudy tapestry of a Vermeer’s painting, or the shades of orange in an inspired sunset.
In the Netherlands, they say that only the sun is for free, therefore it shows up so few times: it must be such an expensive issue, this sun, if it prefers to simply shine somewhere else, while the sober Dutch nation is delighted with the mere, basic sky cupola, like a Sistina Chapel before the touch of any Michelangelo. Which would be absolutely too indulgent, too Catholic.
I read in the internet that some people find this sky quite mystical: almost like living in a Harry Potter novel. I may find it gothic, it’s true, but more like this country is under the spell of an evil wizard, betrayed long time ago by a Dutch princess who preferred the scullery maid to him. These Dutch, always so liberal and libertine.
Or you may think of a post apocalyptic scenario, where the dying Earth is covered by such a thick layer of the disgusting pollution we accumulated over the years, despite all the warnings of our scientists.
I will never know how it feels to be born in this weather, to consider absolutely normal that the sun hides itself for so long, that the colors are deadened like they fear to be too intense and scare the rest of the beings.
What I know now more than before, after a few years living in the Low Lands, is that there is something intrinsic in this kind of weather: a lesson, a life lesson. Life can be a sequence of dull grey skies, where every day is not dissimilar to the one before: coffee, office, lunch, office, dinner, tv, sleep, repeat. But one day, quite randomly, the sun will shine, the rain will pour, the snow will fall, and it will be a welcome variation to the main theme. Yes, even the rain. And meanwhile, waiting for the god of the weather to have the next caprice, we can color our canvas with our favourite palette, for the world is not only what eyes can see, but also how we choose to see it.
By the way, a hint of blue is approaching the grey from the horizon in this very moment.
Read also: We’re sad and the world turns grey, how the perception of colors changes influenced by our mood and emotions.
Read also: Suddenly after the rain, to see how colorful the sky can get in a matter of seconds in The Netherlands!