At the end of my first day of Walk of Wisdom, 2.5 years ago, I sat on a bench with this view. I had just walked this pilgrim path, when I saw a man approaching in the distance. I wondered if he was also walking the tour and looked at him, hoping to see from his walk if this was the case. It seemed to take forever before he leaned in front of me from the depths and gave me a friendly nod as he passed. With the seedling pinned to his backpack, he walked on. Yes, it was a pilgrim! I would have liked to go for a walk with him and have a chat, but he was clearly in better shape than I was. He walked towards Beek with a firm step, while I took a good look at this place and decided: I am going to write from this bench. About encounters along the route, about people’s stories, their intentions, … This bench will be my writing space.

Now 2.5 years later I am finally really there and I remember the text that was attributed to me a few days ago: “the lovers of God never lose their patience, because they know that the crescent moon needs time to turn into a full moon”. I’m still stuck in stories of myself: taking care of parents, paying off my mortgage and then selling, preparations for my departure, new love and well, I was supposed to supervise a walking day. Last minute the walking was canceled. The fact that I would be here and can finally write was not in my agenda. The opening is suddenly there, the door to the meantime opens and I decide to enter. Along the way, I feel everything coming together and I get breath – air – for other people’s stories. Passers-by on their way to wisdom, love.

It seems quiet from the bench. A few beautiful cows, here and there a walker. I am regularly approached, but no pilgrims for the time being. Patience, I ascribe to myself, while enjoying all the sounds of the forest and not to forget: the grazing of the cows, what beautiful animals. I decide to read a part of the book I brought with me. The Seer of Patmos by Hans Stolp, a story based on the Revelation of John. He takes me into the cave where John has been imprisoned by the emperor, and tries to receive the secret that love holds. In the silence it unfolds. He feels the warmth of His nearness, His majesty, and wrestles with its grandeur. His immodest role. His children, there are so many of them and they too have a hard time staying in that Love.

I let the words sink in a bit, look at my last sentence while the laptop is dangling on my lap. From there I look at a young woman with angelic blond hair who looks at me questioningly. Nice place to write, she says. Yes, I say immediately and ask her if she is walking the Walk of Wisdom . She says no and tells me why not. Her story moves me. Sometimes things just don’t go well, life deals blows. Positively, but with a slight tremor in her voice she says: I’m walking with a backpack for the first time. Not filled yet, because that doesn’t pull my shoulder. So yes, really walking the route, that’s not going to be it. But I’ve been following the Walk of Wisdom since the beginning, including through the newsletter to which I subscribe. She also writes about her love for nature, which is why she looked back. A wonderful place to write, she was going to do. And yes, if it was meant to be. Suddenly, it started to rain. She stood up enthusiastically. Not to look for a hiding place. While I closed my laptop, she was looking for a rainbow. That would be what :).

A few minutes later it is dry again. No rainbow to be seen, unfortunately. We exchange some thoughts and life stories until she says: the pain in my arm is playing up again, I have to go. We introduce ourselves to each other, her name is Eline. Satisfied, I look at the path in front of me: it is empty. She wasn’t a 100% pilgrim, or was she? She called herself a pilgrim wannabe – but what does it matter. Nevertheless, she is on her way on her life’s path. Somewhat limited, but hoping for rainbows out of love. Her moon is also waxing, still needs some time.

Grateful for this colorful encounter, I look around me. Finally in this place! In the meantime I feel grateful, what could be more beautiful than writing between Heaven and earth.