Storytelling and inspiration afternoon in Velp – a report


Geertje de Visscher was at our return day for pilgrims who have walked the Walk of Wisdom and wrote an enthusiastic report.

The storytelling afternoon of the Walk of Wisdom in the monastery in Velp brought back all the memories.
What a nice warm afternoon it was with people who each had their own story, their own memories about the pilgrimage the Walk of Wisdom.

After a warm welcome with all kinds of goodies, Damiaan asked us for words that gave meaning to our experience of the hike.
Freedom, connection with yourself, with nature and the people around you, wonder, discovering yourself in all space were mentioned, among other things.
Damiaan talked about the history of the Walk of Walk of Wisdom.
After this we went outside and walked in a lovely autumn sun through the monastery garden and the forest behind it.
In the meantime, listening to each other without reacting, in groups of two people.
This was alternated so that the other person could tell his or her story.
Back inside, we were allowed to choose from two workshops, being creative with paint, tearing and color or writing, to shape our memories.
Sitting by the stove, we talked and listened to each other.
A nice end to a pleasant afternoon.

On a whim, I decided to ask if I could spend the night at the monastery.
There was a room available with a view of the garden and together with another visitor I later walked to Grave in search of a hot meal. While enjoying a drink, we had a delicious meal and both told us plenty about our trip.
We decided to do our return trip to the monastery according to the route and in doing so we walked a bit of Walk of Wisdom along the water through the rather dark night.
Only a little bit of moonlight lit up our path, but we made it back to the monastery without any difficulty.
In the silence we went to our room, set the clock back an hour and slept wonderfully.

The next morning I woke up early.
I opened the windows and enjoyed the fresh air and the view.
I decided to go to the lake for breakfast and again I stood there in silence looking out over the water, at the many geese and ducks that were not so quiet.
Didn’t they know that today was a day of silence?
After a good breakfast which we enjoyed with the manager, we both decided to go for a walk on our own.
I picked up the route and soon walked over the dike.
At my own pace, nice and quiet, a whole day to myself, looking around and enjoying.
Over the cattle grids into the De Keent nature reserve, in the first lake countless swans swam, slowly I continued and saw the primeval cattle grazing and ruminating.
Everything contributed to a quiet day.
At Wim’s studio I stopped for a coffee break with a delicious piece of apple pie with whipped cream.
Wim told me and I listened to his stories, he prepared a sandwich for me and I continued my route, this time on Wim’s instructions.

The whole afternoon I strolled through the nature reserve, I saw the cattle, geese and ducks at the Maas again, a beautiful sky and the occasional sun. The strong winds caused the clouds to drift by quickly in beautiful shapes.
Later, I ate my sandwich with the swans and watched them brush their feathers and slowly float, almost mindfully if they knew what that was, glide through the water.
In any case, I felt mindful, calm, my thoughts almost silent.
Satisfied with what I experienced this weekend.
Happy with my memories of my Walk of Wisdom, everything I had experienced, together with new friends and together with my daughter.
A beautiful day of silence followed by a pleasant beautiful storytelling afternoon.

The Walk of Wisdom has brought me a lot, indeed freedom, connection and wonder.
Conviviality, warmth and gratitude.
Stories, I can keep telling, but I also write them down.
My seven-day trip with my 20-year-old daughter has been a golden holiday.
That’s what I talk about in Touched by an Angel.

Geertje, October 2018
Photos: Jan Alers

This photo of the Walk of Wisdom perfectly illustrates my weekend.
The enthusiasm of the Saturday afternoon, in the book the invitation to spend the night in the monastery, you look at me from the back, in the light vest, to the right of the stovepipe.

Storytelling afternoon pilgrimage route Walk of Wisdom in the Emmaus monastery of Avant Spirit in Velp

Storytelling afternoon pilgrimage route Walk of Wisdom in the Emmaus monastery of Avant Spirit in Velp