Time and Tide

Time and Tide

“Time and Tide wait for no man.” I have yet to totally adjust to both the way of referring to the times of the day and to the lengths of the seasons so different are they from my US home. As a teacher, I have always told my students that a country’s culture is wrapped up in its languages; you do not study words and verbs and grammar; you study a people and their culture in their language. So it is in the Nederlands language. The times of the day are: mornings, s’ochtends or s’morgens (that is the time up until noon). Then it gets tricky! After the midday meal (big, more like the American dinner) is namiddag from about 2 to 4 pm; s’avonds is about 4-8pm and then there is nacht, night. I never quite get it right as English has only morning, afternoon, and evening or night.

The seasons are tricky also; this I have found in other cultures depending on their position on the earth. My most vivid memory is of living in Canada, similar to the US; No, very wrong! Normally, Americans rake autumn leaves anywhere from October through to the end of November…Thanksgiving. The neighbors in this Canadian neighborhood were out early in October raking leaves! Having left the leaves until the end of October/ November; we were raking leaves in parkas in the snow! The next year we were wiser. God has an infinite creativity in how the land masses and the tilt of the earth  and the seasons are interconnected around the earth. Here in Belgium, I kept waiting for summer which truly never came until July; I put my screen in the window and then would take it out again as it was too cold! Now at the end of July, one sister says herfst/autumn is coming which it does seem to be. Gad zooks! No wonder all the vacations are taken in July and early August here. Living in Paris a long time ago, I noted the city was empty of Parisians in July, only tourists… all self respecting Parisians were on vacation.

Spring was very long and rather lovely season here as the flowers came to the gardens, the daffodils to the courtyard and only a jacket was needed. At home, in east of the US, the seasons are pretty predictable 3 months winter 3 months spring, three months summer and three months autumn. Here autumn and spring are quite long and winter and summer short. I will adjust, just takes time…no pun intended!

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