A travelogue of the Silence Walk from Nederasselt to Ravenstein

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On August 29, 2020, there was another silent walk in the series ‘The Walk of Walk of Wisdom in a year around’. The group walk went from Nederasselt to Ravenstein. Vivian Cremers guided the walk, together with Rob van Sprang. Vivian had picked out some beautiful texts for the road. We are happy to share them.

The walk started after a short search for the route in Nederasselt. At a still body of water with a view of the mill, Vivian introduced the walk with a text from the contemporary book of hours and pilgrims ‘Seasons of Life’. It was the text ‘When you go inside’ by Trinette van Schijndel.

When you go outside, you don’t go in.

When I once read it, I found this polar proposition to be undeniable.
Unless you’re a pilgrim? Because then you go outside in the literal sense, precisely with the intention of going your inner way with your attention.
When you walk outside like this, what has not yet calmed down automatically plays up in you. And all around you, nature offers metaphors that touch something in you. Sometimes you see yourself mirrored in a hollowed-out, crooked pollard willow with its straight blades in the air. Other times you think you recognize something in a resting cow that is ruminating wonderfully.
Quite an art to let go of thinking while walking, to let what comes come and to let it go again. Slowly becoming aware of silence and less and less of a tight separation between inside and outside you. Possibly step by step to less divided, to being more one.

Once halfway through our route, we stopped at the Emmaus monastery in Grave (Velp). Here we had a delicious lunch in the Refectory while enjoying a cup of coffee. Then we visited the quiet garden and in the middle of the garden – near the 24 tree trunks overlooking an octagonal table – we listened to Marijn van Zon:

Words of others as a source

Words spoken lack any power.
Sometimes you have the feeling that what touches or determines you deeply cannot be put into words. You feel like your words don’t even come close to describing what it’s really like for you. Not to yourself, but certainly not to others. Your own words fall short. You feel like you’re at a loss for words. You fall silent.
Words from others can help you to put into words what lives inside you. He calls those – lived – words of others inspiring words: words that can help you to articulate yourself. He hopes that in these words of others you will find strength to express yourself and that you will draw inspiration from them.

Discovering the way in your life

(Wydo van der Lee)

Discovering the way in your life
is open with all senses
Standing in the world
and listen to the one
that moves you
And who you let move
is daring to say no
And sometimes yes or maybe.

Discovering the way in your life
is knowing what’s passing you by
Now that you decide this way and nothing else.

Discovering the way in your life
is hoping for all the good
that may happen to you too
Sometimes, just for a moment.

Discovering the way in your life
is trust and build
And take it as it comes
and give of what you have.

Discovering what the way is in your life is trusting and building and taking as it comes and giving what you have, that is…. Mindful of these words, before continuing our way to Ravenstein, we listened to the words of Amanda Strydom, an African singer. Known to some from ‘the pilgrim’s prayer’.

Amanda Strydom – Ek Walk That Path

Ek loop die pad al lank, my lam[1]
so baldfoot[2] door that cold
Van Doeriekant[3] se Doringveld[4]
and how similar also

Ek loop die pad so sonder hoed
Door Son en Wind en Grou
so bare foot on that winding path
and how similar also

My lamb, that grass is sometimes so green
That son is sometimes so lou
But I walk here that path only my lamb
and how similar also

Remember how we could walk
so loslyf and mocked
so fly – fly ear those heads[5]
A Ragab and a Lot

But now I’m walking alone, my lamb
so bare foot door that cold
And sometimes, just sometimes, then miracle ek
My Lamb, Where’s Jy Now
And sometimes, just sometimes, then miracle ek
My Lamb, where is JY?

[1] Lamb: baby, baby
[2] Bald foot: barefoot
[3] doeriekant: in the distance
[4] Doringveld: Field of thistles
[5] Koppies: Bergen

Talk about silence! Maybe this is contradictory, and maybe you shouldn’t want it to be. Still, afterwards Ricky aptly summed up her experience of the day in two beautiful haikus:

Finding balance
between inside and outside,
a necessity of life.

breathe in and out,
Receiving Returns
to happiness in life

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where walking in silence turns into happiness in life: you can only experience it by doing.

Our next silent walk is Saturday 26 September. Then we walk from Ravenstein to Wijchen. Click here for more information.
PS: It doesn’t matter how fast you run, we take each other into account: we try to run as a group as much as possible.

Thanks to Vivian Cremers and pilgrim 5615

Photos: Vivian Cremers