Traditions

Taking Time for the Views

The town center of Clervaux is in a small valley. All around it are first sidewalks and then trails that lead up. Up to the castle, up to the church, up to the abbey, up to a ridge and then the ridge beyond. At practically every turn above the valley, there is a view down to the town below.

I had not been to the area since I was little when my family joined my grandfather as he retraced his journey during the Battle of the Bulge. Clervaux was not part of his war (which was in and around Bastogne), but being there reminded me of the trip. During their battle, the castle in Clervaux had been repeatedly bombed, only a hint of its palace and towers left. It is now restored and houses Steichen's Family of Man exhibit. 

Because of its history and collection of art and spas, the town is visited by older folks wanting to learn about the War while taking the air. That said, I also saw a scout troop on a scavenger hunt and a busload of school children that after impatiently listening about their meet-up time/location, all ran to the shops and restaurants to buy candy and pizza. Moments in time that complemented the Family of Man collection.

We were all there for the views.

A group of older people were traveling together. Our walks and late dinners would intersect. Taking the time to look at things is something that we take for granted as adults. Or do we? Sitting on a bench, I watched as one of the men -carefully and gingerly- navigated the stacked stones that led up to this small fenced perch overlooking the town. His companions waited for him, with expressions of "Here he goes again," on their faces as they leaned against the wall below to wait him out. In the way of a lot of European WWII battle torn cities, there are these little bits of rubble or constructions left to mark something that used to be there before the bombings. The stones were not easy to navigate and the railings, though secure, didn't look it. He tested each step up and tested the wrought iron. He then climbed to the peak of the large boulder you see in the photo and paused. He paused. And he looked. He TOOK in the view.

Taking in the view is a whole body experience. It is something that I see children do all the time. They EXPERIENCE the view with all their senses. It lands and saturates their little beings. I spend so much time observing children that it was a true joy to watch this older adult do the same. We hold our experiences dear, through and through.

A new school year is starting next week. I look forward to the view. I am wishing you many wonderful views.