The importance of wandering Luuk Wilmering

For years I had seen the mountains in the distance, on an ever-diffuse horizon. There had always been vague questions about what it would look like over there, but never before did I have the urge to really go there. I once saw the top of one of the highest mountains in a museum. Someone had climbed that mountain, cut off the tip and then sold it to the museum. Now it lay there in a display case, like a holy relic.

I asked three friends to join me. I said, "Shall we go to the mountains to reach the top?" They thought it was a good idea because they too had seen the distant mountains for years, but had never been there. Ambitious as we were, we immediately set ourselves the highest peak as our goal. That was where we wanted to get!

In my restless search for the right way, I was overwhelmed by doubt, because every time I approached a mountain top other peaks seemed higher to me and I suggested to change course. When we approached that other mountain top, the same thing happened to me again. I kept on looking around nervously and hesitantly and indecisively ... and that's how I lost my friends. Disagreement arose between us about the route we had to follow and we decided to separate. Later I saw them walking in the distance. Apparently, they had found the right way, because they were now far ahead of me. I shouted, "Wait for me!", but they didn't hear it ... or didn't want to hear.

At one point I noticed that I had lost all sense of direction. Everything around me looked alike and I didn't know where I was or which way to go. At night I slept where possible, in caves or under an overhanging rock. I ate what I found, mostly mushrooms and toadstools. We had left at the end of May on a Sunday - it was beautiful weather then - but I don't know what day it is now. I only know the difference between daylight and the darkness of the night.

When, after a long search and wandering, I finally reached a high mountain peak, I was disappointed. Was this it? There was nothing there. A big bare nothing. Nothing but snow and rock. No plant or blade of moss or other life, not even birds could be seen. The only sounds I heard were sounds I made myself, my heartbeat and breathing and the sound of my footsteps in the snow. And, moreover, the continuous sound of the wind ... but among these sounds there was an intense, deep, total silence. A silence of the kind I had never experienced before; and I suddenly felt completely futile and insignificant.