We are trying to do something with the boys every day - otherwise, we'll get cabin fever with Hyperboy and Mr. Defiance. Today, my Mom and I took Alan and Jacob to walk the Path of St. Francis [Link in German only].
This is a new installation, to be presented to the public in May 2007. My Mom approved it as a member of the city council of the city of Ostheim. It's mainly located in my Dad's hunting lease. You could say, the Path is family business (just kidding!).
The Path is five kilometers long and leads through ten so-called "meditation stations" where local woodcarving artists have created ten pieces of art, corresponding with the ten stanzas of the Canticle of Brother Sun (of course, in German, it's Sister Sun, and Brother Moon because of the articles, but never mind). They really did a great job. The stations are lovely and thought-provoking. Because this is a rather wild and remote place (by German standards), you are alone with the art and with the nature that St. Francis loved so much. It's very -- meditative.
There are also seven stations along the "Life's Way", the Lebensweg. These are meditations about life, pure and simple. They are connected with the natural flow of the path -- a street crossing leads to a meditation on just that, crossing. Another station is at a steep decline and muses on how we sometimes need to hold on to something to keep us from stumbling and falling.
As I said, the Path isn't officially opened until May so it's not quite finished yet. Certainly the loggers have messed up the paths something bad these past weeks - deep grooves made going with the stroller quite, um, challenging. But we walked the entire thing, and so did Alan. Not bad for a four-year-old.
For me, it was enchanting, elating, calming, and strange. Remember, it's my Dad's hunting lease. I grew up in those woods, we used to have potato fires there in the fall, and our Sunday walks. It was odd to think that masses of people would wander along those paths one day. (Also bad for my Dad's hunting.)
But, I approve. It's a great idea, and very well executed. The art is exquisite, and if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, I definitely recommend to stop for an hour or two and walk the path with St. Francis, celebrating Brother Sun and Sister Moon.