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Last weekend I have walked with my full rucksack on my back. I did learn from last year! The weather was reasonable, but with heavy rains on Saturday, with sunshine in between.  It seems like the heavy rains that I still know from living in Tanzania and Guatemala are now common practice here. It makes me aware that I need to prepare for that as well when I start walking in Austria and Slovenia on the 10th of July.

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A little dragon is attached to my rucksack. Someone wishing me strength once gave it to me. I see it again after a year, it is the only thing that has been attached that survived. Most other things hanging off my rucksack have disappeared or been brought to safety. The little dragon suddenly reminds me of the Dragon that was slayed by the German hero Siegfried, who also plays a role in my book “solid ground” that you may download from my site from the 1st of July. Underneath some lines out of that book. The power you need comes from within.

 

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Worms is also the city of Siegfried, the hero who slayed the dragon. There are many stories of heroes slaying dragons. St George, who became the patron sat of England, who slayed a dragon. The archangel Michael also slayed a dragon. In mythology you can possibly see the slaying of the dragon as conquering evil. The image of the dragon has become the face of Satan in Christian times. In modern (and romantic) times, you can also see the conquering of the dragon as the overcoming of the darker aspects of your personality. You conquer your own personal dragon. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke takes this even a step further by suggesting that maybe our internal dragon has something valuable to tell us. That maybe something from deep down that we have been taught to fear and hate, is something that once we learn to embrace it, can be guide us into new ways of seeing the world and ourselves.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives

are princesses who are only waiting to see us act,

just once,

with beauty and courage.

Perhaps everything that frightens us is,

in its deepest essence,

something helpless that wants our love.”

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