Medebach-Glindfeld (51.199865 | 8.676812)
For the two elderly ladies from Medebach, this bench is a power station. When they make a pilgrimage "to the Kahlen," they first pray to Mary, "Comforter of the Afflicted," in the upper chapel. Then they go a few steps down the slope, to the burial chapel, which shows the body of Jesus. And then they sit down on this bench. Today I may join them.
In front of us stretches the flat valley of Glindfeld, to the right in the meadow a former monastery, opposite the tips of 63-meter-high Douglas firs rise from the mixed forest. The undulating, gently rounded contour lines of the mountains, one says, seem to her like green clouds; indeed, the shapes of the green on the earth and the white in the sky look remarkably similar. The other sees "green-dyed sheep's wool," covering the ridges with softness. One feels secure by the roundness of the surrounding mountains, the other appreciates the view far into the country. I can understand both.
We sit in silence. Until one of them says: "It was 50 years ago. My father drove off with a tractor and trailer to fetch fodder. My nine-year-old brother was supposed to ride along, he was supposed to put a brake on the back. When he wanted to jump off, he got caught between the drawbar and the trailer. The father had to roll him over to even get him free. Desperately, he carried the boy until he could take no more. Then finally a car came along. My brother got to the hospital in time; he barely survived. The father sank into guilt and silence. My mother was different. She went to the chapel and thanked Mary for saving her son."
Then the other tells us, "I still have eight brothers and sisters. In the years after the war, our parents didn't know how to get so many hungry bellies filled. One day, all the supplies were gone, my father at a loss, my mother desperate. She went on pilgrimage to Am Kahlen and entrusted her worries to the Sorrowful Mother. When she came home, there was a sack of potatoes at the door." The two of them tell me these stories "so that you understand why these chapels are so important for us Medebachers."
One tells of Good Friday: "Thousands walk the Way of the Cross. The first already before sunrise. Many with the procession in the morning. But many also go alone. I am one of them. Walking at my own pace. With my own concerns. There is always one. Whether I pray for my daughter's pregnancy to go well. Or because one of the children is facing an important exam. Sometimes everything is just fine, then I pray that it stays that way." The other tells of the Sauerland Mountain Association's hike: "On May 1, we celebrate Mass in the square in front of the chapel. I always get to choose the theme for the sermon. Usually the theme for the sermon is 'Care for Creation.' I like that."
One says that when they were children, they were allowed to look for Easter eggs on the way back from the Good Friday procession: "Search and find - yes, but don't eat! That was a fast day, after all." The other points to the steep, only slightly winding path down to Glindfeld, another crossroads that leads to the monastery: "Two of my brothers once built a bobsled out of sheet steel. Really streamlined, with handlebars at the front and brakes at the back, which had sharp teeth. In the winter we dragged the bob here, to the beginning of the path. The two of them got on in front, I was allowed to be the brakeman. And then we went down the mountain at a monkey's pace. Today you'd say the ultimate thrill."
What keeps drawing the two of them back here? The chapel is dedicated to the "Seven Sorrows of Mary." She suffers when she is prophesied to by the prophet Simeon that her son will yet cause her much grief. She stands under the cross as he suffers agony. She has to endure the pain when she lays the martyred body in the grave. A strong woman, say the two strong women from Medebach, a compassionate woman, a role model. Those who have carried themselves and their worries up the mountain can unload them in prayer. "Afterwards I feel relieved," says one. "I find my peace again," says the other.
Author: Michael Gleich
Medebach market place
The 5.8 km long hike starts at the market place in Medebach. First we walk up the Oberstraße on the left hand side, there we turn left into the Glindfelder Weg at the height of the Bäckerei Isken. Then turn left again into the road" Am Kahlen". Slightly uphill follow the x 13 the old Hanseweg up to the height of the Kahlen. At the top, the Kahlenkapelle, in the middle of the forest, welcomes the hiker and invites him to relax and stop for a break. This is the highest point of the baroque Way of the Cross, which was created by the monks of the Glindfeld Monastery. At the small chapel of the Holy Sepulchre below the Kahlenkapelle, you can enjoy an impressive view of the monastery lying in the valley and its mountainous surroundings. Now follow a small path downhill until you reach the Philosopher's Path, there turn right along the path and continue to follow the M1. The small paths were already walked by the monks and philosophized about the next sermon. Follow the M1 along the edge of the forest back to the Hanseatic town of Medebach.
For more information, contact the Tourist Information Medebach: Tel: 02982 / 9218610, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org