I was thrilled that my eldest sister Jeanneke wanted to organize the first Stillness Walk in Belgium for the Power Flour Journey and she suggested the Zoniënwoods -dating back to the year 1000AD- near Brussels could be a perfect place for such a walk. And so it was!
Enormous beech trees with tree trunks that climbed up like pillars in a straight line for over 20-25 meters into the endless blue sky, before they spread out their might and strength into tall branches eventually ending up in very subtle, soft, fresh green just unfolding leaves. Not yet leaves though, altogether they formed a majestic transparent green roof and although a soft breeze was playing in it, no rustling sound could be heard. Their form still so delicate, even when I touched them on the small one year old sprouts near the ground, I really could not feel what it was these leaves were made off…..so tender and delicate, like the wings of a caterpillar just transformed into a butterfly. Such a world of wonder.
After the Stillness Walk I was sitting in a friends garden and I saw the sun producing clear cut black shadows of solid iron bars on a concrete base. The bars stayed unmoved and stubborn in place and the shadows performed a slow and gentle pirouette around them. The brighter the sun, the clearer the shadow…..without the sun there would not even be a shadow, but the bars were reluctant to bother about that. On this side of the iron structure there was a pattern of irregular rust patches formed over years, totally independent of the sunshine; a lasting and undeniable echo so it seemed of the shadows. It simply marked the inevitable slow crumbling process of even the most solid looking structure and its shadow.
Hoeilaart, May 5 – 2018.