Maria and Walk of Wisdom

(Without pictures)

Inspired by a woman from our circle of acquaintances, who walked the Walk of Wisdom last August, together with one of her daughters, I had the wish to walk the Walk of Wisdom for 2019, together with my partner Robert. Was it the name of the route that appealed to me, the enthusiasm, the idea of going on the road as a pilgrim ???

On August 20 we started in Nijmegen, we would walk the route in 2 stages, first 5 days and later 4 days. We didn’t take a selfie at the start, we didn’t even take a single photo on the way!

We had planned about 15 km a day, so that we would have time to sit quietly on a bench somewhere, to look around, to look at the landscape that stretched out in front of us, but also to look at the landscape that lay behind us. I learned that looking back from an Indian friend with whom I once hiked around the sacred Mount Arunachala in South India. She pointed out to me, for example, that the shapes of rocks in front of us are different from those when we look back later, and that applies to every landscape.

In the vicinity of Nijmegen we regularly saw other hikers with the same route description in hand, so conversations arose very easily. Very soon the two of us were no longer met with any other pilgrims.

Along the way, this song regularly came up in my mind:

Bowl! Welcome whoever you are, whatever you are; Come welcome,
Even if you are a denier of God, a servant of many gods, or a fire worshipper
Even if you have repented a hundred times and then sinned again,
Come, welcome, because the door of our monastery is not one of despair.
Mevlana Rumi

It is mainly all kinds of impressions that have stayed with us: the silence of the Reichswald, the birch and the beech somewhere near the St. Jansberg that have grown together, a club of a tree that had been felled towards the Voer valley by the force of nature, the hospitality of people with whom we found shelter and where inspiring books and magazines were located, the impressive trunks of trees on the way to Hernen, the 3 storks in the meadow just before Afferden, the beautiful houses on the dike past the Tabaksplant, on the road in the morning just to walk ………………….. together.

After the first 5 days of walking, I saw a change in my eyes.
I also learned a lot: never knew exactly what a seigneury is, never heard of a dike warehouse before. I thought there was only one, Deest’s. I walked back to it especially looking for a ring …………………………. And then all those wheels and winds. We later found the bird ring in the dike warehouse of Beuningen in that nice cabinet!

Also learned about myself, this Walk of Walk of Wisdom has brought me closer to myself, Robert and me closer to each other. What is really important to me? For us ? We both enjoyed this way of having a holiday.

Unfortunately, it was not a Walk of Wisdom in 2 stages. The 2nd stage was already planned with all the overnight stays, but an important funeral thwarted our plans. The day after the funeral we walked for a day, which was a nice way to let grief be, later we walked for another 3 days. Life happens to you while you’re making plans for something else……………………..

The advantage of different stages is that you walk in different seasons, at least that was the case for us, different clothes, different weather, different colors, the benches were wet at the beginning of October or cold on our buttocks. The walking route was a bit swampy and I liked the dike very much with a view to two sides. We walked into Grave at 30 degrees in August and we sometimes crawled into bed early in October to be warm.

And we still have one wish: to walk the Walk of Wisdom again next year, probably without all those rings.

When I asked Robert what made this path so special, he answered: the energy of all those beautiful people who have already walked here and who have worked on this path is palpable!

Maria Zegers (pilgrim 4491)