then hardly perceptible luster which lay over everything. The area of these journeys was circumscribed by the hand and eye of my mother. It was as if her unspoken care watched over everything. Those play voyages still knew nothing of wanderings when all shores would be left behind. Meanwhile, the hardness and scent of the oakwood began to speak more clearly of the slowness and constancy with which the tree grew. The oaktree itself spoke: only in such growth is there grounded what lasts and fructifies; to grow means to open oneself up to the expanse of heaven and at the same time to sink roots into the darkness of earth; everything genuine thrives only if it is, in right measure, both ready for the appeal of highest heaven and preserved in the protection of sustaining earth.

Again and again the oaktree says this to the pathway which passes by sure of its course. The pathway gathers in whatever has its Being around it; to all who pass this way it gives what is theirs. The same fields and meadows, ever changing but ever near, accompany the pathway through each season. Whether the Alps above the forests are sinking into twilight, or a lark is climbing into the summer morning where the pathway winds over the rolling hill, or [13] the eastwind is blowing up a storm out of the region where mother's home village lies; whether, as night draws near, a woodsman drags his bundle of brushwood to the hearth, or a harvesting wagon sways homeward in the pathway's tracks, or children are gathering the first primroses at the meadow's edge, or the fog is pushing its gloomy burden over the fields for days on end-always and everywhere the call [Zuspruch]1 of the pathway is the same:

The simple preserves the enigma of what abides and is great. It comes to men suddenly but then requires a long time to mature. It conceals its blessings in the modesty of what is always the same. The wide expanse of everything that grows and abides along the pathway is what bestows world. In what its language does not say, there - says Eckhardt, old master of letter and life-God is truly God.

But the call of the pathway speaks only as long as there are men, born in its atmosphere, who can hear it. They are servants of their origin, not slaves of machination. Man's attempts to bring order to the world by his plans will remain futile as long as he is not ordered to the call of the pathway. The danger looms that men today cannot hear its language. The only thing they hear is the noise of the media, which they almost take for the voice of God. So man becomes disoriented and loses his way. To the disoriented, the simple seems monotonous. The monotonous brings weariness, and the weary and bored find only what is uniform. The simple has fled. Its quiet power is exhausted.

Certainly the company of those who still recognize the simple as their hard-earned possession is quickly diminishing. But everywhere these few will be the ones who abide. Through the gentle force of the pathway they will one day have the strength to outlast the gigantic energies of atomic power, which [14]