human calculation has artificed for itself and made into fetters of its own action.

The call of the pathway awakens a sense which loves the free and open and, at the propitious place, leaps over sadness and into a final serentity. This serenity resists the senselessness of merely working, which, when done for itself, promotes only emptiness.

In the pathway's seasonally changing breeze thrives this wise serenity whose mien often seems melancholy. This serene wisdom is at once "playful and sad, ironic and shy."2 Someone who doesn't have it already can never acquire it. Those who have it get it from the pathway. Along its trail the winter storm encounters the harvest day, the lively excitement of spring meets the peaceful dying of autumn, the child's game and the eider's wisdom catch each other's eye. And all is serene in a singular harmony whose echo is silently carried here and there by the pathway.

Such wise serenity is a gateway to the eternal. Its door turns on hinges once forged by a skilled smith out of the enigmas of human existence.

From Ehnried the way turns back towards the park gate. Its narrow ribbon rises over the last hill and runs through some low ground until it reaches the town wall. It shines dimly in the starlight. There, behind the castle, rises the tower of St. Martin's Church. Slowly, almost hesitantly, eleven strokes of the hour sound in the night. The old bell, on whose ropes boys' hands were rubbed hot, shudders under the blows of the hammer of Time, whose dark-droll face no one forgets.

With the last stroke the stillness becomes yet more still. It reaches out even to those who were sacrificed before their time in two world wars. The simple has become simpler. [15] The ever-same astonishes and liberates. The call of the pathway is now quite clear. Is it the soul speaking? or the world? or God?

Everything speaks of renunciation unto the same. Renunciation does not take away, it gives. It bestows the inexhaustible power of the simple. The call makes us at home in the arrival of a distant origin.

Translated by Thomas F. O'Meara, O.P.,
Revised by Thomas Sheehan.


Thomas Franklin O'Meara, O.P., is Professor at the Aquinas Institute of Theology and is widely published in philosophy. Most recently his bibliographical study of F.W.J. Schelling appeared in The Review of Metaphysics, 31 (1977). "The Pathway," a translation of "Der Feldweg," Martin Heidegger. Zum 80. Geburtstag (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1969), pp. 11-15, appeared in Listening, 8 (1973), 32-39. Numbers in brackets refer to the German pages.