On Sundays, German bells are still calling the faithful to church. They try as best as they can but one look into the church offers the same view as in the Netherlands. A few people and most of them of an advanced age.
In front of the church a thin man with a bycicle and a prayer book in his hands stops me. He isn’t a homeless but he also isn’t a home-haver is my perception. I am from the Netherlands! Yes, he knows Texel, one of the small islands in the north. He was there in 1956 with his family. His father was a Nazi officer who was instrumental in overcoming the maginot line and who took part in conquering Paris. To him his father was a war hero, who was helped by the Americans to flee after the war. The Americans that still occupy Germany with their 84000 troops, according to him. The family was relocated to Texel because the father had tbc. Later they got a house in Amsterdam due to his fathers connections. I ask him the question that was there from the beginning. He says: yes.
A couple of days ago I met this man in a clearing in the forest. He was practising tai-chi. He says that tai-chi is the art of looking for balance through movement but that same movement stops balance from being reached. Because when balance is reached, everything stops, the world stops. So he practices the art of finding balance without the need or the wish to reach it.
Today I walk from Mainz to Worms. A 40 kilometre challenge. Some way before Worms lies the small ancient little town of Oppenheim. It has a beautiful centre and a an even more beautiful regional wine. Temptation came before the target. Moving becomes slow. The train saves me.