The story of the departure ceremony (14): ‘At the speed of the seasons’

Pilgrim's Book of Hours
Miniature of Patricia van de Camp in Seasons of Life

This Saturday is our monthly – early – departure ceremony: the pilgrim lauds. A little after sunrise we take a tour of the deserted Stevens Church in Nijmegen. A reader then reads a text from our first pilgrimage book of hours, Seasons of Life.

The departure ceremony starts at 07.28h, meet at the door of Stevenskerkhof 62. Be on time, because the door is closing! Participation is free, but registration is required via this link.
Listen here to the text from the pilgrim’s book of hours that was read at the previous pilgrims’ lauds. A text by Doeka: ‘With the speed of the seasons’.

At the speed of the seasons

It’s early in the morning. I sit down to meditate. My mind is racing like a highway. Thoughts rumble through my head and I watch as they make noise.

After half an hour I walk outside. It’s dark, but when I look up, I see a clear night. Treetops grope up motionless in the dark. I’m looking at the almost full moon
for which a herd of clouds suddenly passes, slowly, at an old pace. They hang in the air and glide slowly under the moon, which shines through the fractures and lights them up one by one in a circle of color.

I walk on, down the street, away from the heavy shadows of the city, to look up. I feel my toes in the ground as my head falls back and I breathe in the freedom of the space above. My eyes sparkle in the shimmering light of the moon, which looks through the clouds into the night. The moon and I: silent witnesses of this hour. Below, there is no wind, but above, the air moves with the irreversible speed with which a herd of primitive animals once became extinct.

The air empties. The moon remains. A cyclist passes over the asphalt with crackling tires.


Pseudonym of Damiaan Messing