It has been three years since I photographed this image in nature reserve 'De Maashorst'. At that time, we had to contend with an extremely hot and dry summer. The kind of summer where nature just seemed to burn for lack of water. There was a ban on spraying because otherwise the water boards would not be able to keep their stock up to standard. The weather was so extreme that we got temperatures above 40 degrees here in the Netherlands, and that had not happened in the entire Dutch history, since they keep temperature measurements.
At that moment I decided to drive to 'De Maashorst', to see what it looked like there. And that's where I made this image, among other things.
The feeling I already got with this image at the time, actually fits perfectly into this time. The feeling of LONELINESS. Fortunately, society is opening further and further and the Corona measures are slowly being released.
For example, we no longer have to wear mouth caps, we no longer have to keep one and a half meters distance, and more and more things can continue such as events. There are restrictions such as, "Test before entry". You need to show a QR code that you have been vaccinated, or tested negative, or a demonstrable recovery from a previous corona infection. But if you start thinking these things away...it would almost be like 'normal life' again.
But is that really? That's another story. From my own 'little safe corner' on this globe, I have seen by following social media that many people have changed in this corona time. Many people struggle with problems, of which loneliness, abandonment and insecurity predominate. Young people who are struggling with an identity crisis, they no longer know what to do, they no longer know 'who' they are and have nowhere to go with their growing insecurity.
Problems get bigger and bigger in their minds, which in turn causes them to look for solutions that are not solutions in reality! For example, yesterday I read the story that in Dordrecht more and more young people in the age group of 12 to 16 years are already using hard drugs. A story of a 14-year-old girl stayed with me. The story was told by the parents on one side and the child on the other. Born out of a desire not to be lonely anymore. The loneliness is caused by locking up society in the fight against Corona. These kinds of things affect me, and I wonder if there is also attention for this.
Corona measures may be slowly coming to an end, for some people 'the new normal' has become normal, but for many people life has changed permanently and 'loneliness' is their new friend.