Today we took our bicycles, and just started riding. As regular readers, or those that know me a littlebit might know – we live right next to the forest and country side. That makes it very easy to step outside into nature, spaciousness, rest and relaxation. Today I made a bit of a longer ride – maybe a littlebit too long for Helga – as she stated that she was quite tired when we came home.
The kids (Owen and Ilja) did well above expectations tho – no nagging, wining or other annoying things – so them getting bigger really is a plus! I really love the change of seasons – for the last week or two it is very strongly noticable that it got colder very fast. From 25 degrees to 15 in just two days.. The moisty cold freshness, the clear skies, that can fill up with massive rainclouds in minutes – The fields getting empty – the potatoes are out now, the grain is cut, only the corn still stands…
The days are shortening very fast – and I love the harvst – or autumn as the english call it – I dont know where that word stems from but thats ok… I love being in that landscape, getting a fresh nose, experiencing that last energetic force before everything REALLY starts to die. It was windstill, sunny, bright, and not too cold.
On our way back we first came past the Onderduikershol – I am sorry for the lack of english info – but that’s the only website I could find that also has English info. I’ve been at the site before, but they have restored the site more and put more information boards at the site, also including personal stories which made the site quite impressive. The idea that a group of people has lived there secretive for 3 full years in constant fear to be discovered, completely depending on a few villagers that would bring them food – and the big tree that functioned as watchtower still standing today just got me in a silence mode.
After that we moved on, and passed the contemporary landscape art in the form of stones . You have to try to imagine that the Valtherbos is like an open history book. It is filled with dolmens, tumuli, celtic fields and many old carriage tracks of the ancient roads that you can still easily spot going right thru the heath. It is the sacred landscape. The artist Adri Verhoeven has managed it to very elegantly add his contemporary vision of stone and connect it to the old way.
In a sense to me Adri binds the old world to the new world, by placing his new polished stones right between the rough unpolished 5ooo year old monuments, and achieves it to awaken a similar feeling. He re-awakens people’s love for stone – his stones look soft and round, shiny, and invite people to stand still, observe, touch and see the beauty of them.
His art to me represents the strong feeling that eventho we have internet, mobile phones and tv, that we still are the same people as 5000 years ago. And the best of it is that he does it in a respectfull way. He does not push the dolmens and tumuli away – instead he places his stones on those empty places, where it would be good to have tracks leading to the old monuments of our ancestors.
So now, we have the neolithicum (dolmens), the bronze age (tumuli), the medieval times (carriage tracks) AND the contemporary time (his art) combined – and by that it shows that the sacred land after 5 millennia of constant inhabitation still is being respected, honoured and people seek ways to pay hommage to it! I cannot explain the feeling that it gives – but it makes calm, gives inspiration, stillness, awareness – a sense of peacefulness and a sense of belonging.
These sort of short family trips, eventho we do them probably every weekend – are very dear to me. They are the few things in life that really matter. To be together with your family, in an activity where we are all together involved in a way that everyone is his natural self. Life is good. That is the message you take home. I suggest you look up the area on google earth, you might find some nice dolmen pictures. Or you simply look at some of the youtube videos I made of them ;-)…