Monica Boschman: “I can hear it in my inner ear.”


Our chairman Monica Boschman wrote a poem for the celebration of the 750th anniversary of our start and end point, the Stevenskerk in Nijmegen. Presented there on Wednesday 7 September 2022.

Stevenskerk poem Monica Boschman
St. Steven’s Church by Thomas Hontelez


Go, pilgrim go. I can hear it in my inner ear.
and take my steps. Soft, hard, subdued,
exuberant, sometimes with a heavy heart.
I’m going, I’m a stranger stepping the roads
comes home, passes by.
I’m joining, we’re joining
join in the footsteps of those who walked before us,
slept, succeeded, beat, prayed, gifted, named.
Those who lived up to the verbs and water words
wet backs, clammy hands, their looking up
what is there, where is the line, what is God asking?

We go, beyond the field, the river, the flat land
with villages, further on the hills. Under the sun,
Under the stars, along the water everything pulls
pass us by, while it is we who go.
This city our beacon of togetherness, behind gates
around the tower. An entry with music,
Sometimes a chariot game, the market full of color
and smell, a fire here or there,
an attack of the plague or other evil.
And yet – inexplicably over and over again
get up, move on.

Faith, hope and love as something to hold on to. Whether we’re standing
or go, stomp or sneak, the gaze upward,
down or straight ahead, the path receives us,
Let us dance with the shadow.
Windswept, watered down, orphaned we come
from the east, west, north, south.
We’re going south, north, west,
east. In love, surprised, amazed.
The difference between path-seekers and path-finders?
From show me the way, to this is a tone
To live, to drink, to listen.
Unexpectedly, I stop. Not only me,
We stand still, fall silent, each of us knows for sure:
I can’t go on. Nevertheless, I will continue, we will continue.
Do we think we will arrive somewhere?
The outer path around the city and the inner path
of the soul sometimes go foot to foot
are miles away from each other.
Just when we know for sure
that we are lost, we arrive.
Somewhere. Maybe the path knows that it’s
The way can be, home, to light.

Every early morning there are already tracks in the sand.
I’m never the first, someone preceded me.
Was it you? Wherever you go, there you are, I once read.
Together and alone, in twists and turns,
at turning points, on the long path.
Footsteps of a life never form
a straight line. So what is it? A flower
With leaves, a circle, a heart?
Let’s be with the land, with the river
among people, now and then and in the future.
Feeling the blessing of sunshine and birdsong.

Monica Boschman

Photo: Thomas Hontelez