I want to sketch what Hof Zevenbergen is on the basis of an image:
On the domain of Hof Zevenbergen lies a small plot of forest, which we call Bovenhof. On one side of the forest you walk close to the street and a residential area – you are not far from ordinary life. On the other hand, you walk next to the adjacent nature reserve and the pond, and you seem to be completely away from the world. It is quiet, there are beautiful old trees, and there are also young new trees to be found, trees of all sizes and types. There are of course weeds, such as thistles, there are dead branches and a huge fallen beech.
Die Bovenhof is a symbol for what Hof Zevenbergen wants to be: a place close to the world, where people can catch their breath and find inspiration – they can be there in very different ways. And we, as a support group, the community that lives and works in Hof Zevenbergen, we can enjoy that forest, maintain it and even redevelop it.
As in the Bovenhof there are valuable old trees ( veteran trees ) that have been around for centuries, so we can build on the work and spirituality of our predecessors: we don’t have to invent everything, we can follow in the footsteps of the sisters. Their charisma, the spirituality of the Incarnation, has gradually become very dear to us: we have been able to discover this and make it our own. By working together for many years, we have breathed the spirit of the house: we have seen and experienced how hospitality takes shape.
But just as a forest must be maintained and renewed in time, new plantings must be created, new roads must be constructed. Space must be made for that, you must dare to try something, be allowed to fail, stumble and get up again.
In recent years, a new group has formed in Hof Zevenbergen, like a graft on the work of the sisters: the new operation grafts itself on a rootstock of the Congregation. Their inspiration is like a sap flow that flows along that old (original) rootstock and makes a new tree grow.
That may be a somewhat romantic image, the reality is sometimes difficult and stormy.
What is it specific to our way of living and working?