Some people live in the past and like it. Some even live in a past that isn’t theirs. Probably a shrink would say that this isn’t a good way to live and would recommend some sort of behavioral therapy. A new age spiritual thinker would lay you down and invite you to feel “the power of now”, “anchor yourself in the present” and “focus on the moment”. They aren’t wrong to believe in staying present. It actually makes you notice things that surround you and that helps you react properly to different stimuli. This way of thinking has benefits, believe me, I know. This way of thinking came to us, I believe, from the Buddhists. It’s not a new way of thinking but a new way of thinking for the western civilizations. How do we even get back to “the power of Now” when we were trained to always refer to the past? We are taught history with a lot of passion. We always talks about our relatives who passed away very often if not every time there’s a family reunion. We read stories from the past, watch old movies, listen to old songs, taste familiar and old recipes that make us feel like home no matter where we go. We practically are anchored in the past. Meanwhile the so called “new age spiritualists” (that by the way aren’t that new if we think about it), they stay in the present by meditating, by emptying their minds when they go for a walk and if there’s some subject they don’t want to discuss they assertively say that they don’t want to talk about it and they are heard. It seems to me that when we were taught the proper manners and how to behave, no one told us how to politely escape a conversation, nor were we taught how to accept that someone doesn’t want to listen to what we have to say. It is considered, in some parts, very offensive to just stop the conversation and walk away. So what do we do? Do we have to choose between being polite and sensitive to others or to protect our fresh roots in the “now”?
That was a dilemma I really needed to get out because hey… it really bugged me.
Back to my story…
So, as I said, some people really like to live in the past, re-live the past, look into it, research, dig, discover, remember and talk about it. I guess I am one of those people that even if they practice meditation and feel a profound relief in emptying the mind and just being, I also like history. But you see … there is an amendment to this statement because I am not really good at remembering data, which is required, for those who are history lovers. At any given time if you ask me something about something from the past I would probably fail because I don’t remember data. I feel somehow emotionally connected to certain periods of time related to literature or with Word War II. I can’t explain logically why I am so in tune with that period and what fascinates me about it. I really can’t. After my experience with Normandy I asked myself why I had that experience so other worldly. I’ve found a possible explanation but like most of these kinds of things it can’t be proven scientifically, for the time being anyway.
I went to Normandy at and American friend’s suggestion. He really really wanted to visit the place where the D-Day happened. So we took a train from Paris and went to visit Caen and the surrounding area, the beaches where the American troops fought the Germans in World War II. It was a massacre and the traces of those terrible fights are still there suspended in time. So we went on their traces and the trip didn’t let us down.
At Caen train station we were wondering how we’d get to the beaches. There was a bus taking people to the beach but for a tour? What we had found on the internet seemed way too expensive for us. Out of nowhere comes towards us an older gentleman with white hair and kind features, riding his own bicycle. That seemed very French and he seemed to be timeless and magical like a character from a book. I remember him coming towards us and asking if we wanted a tour. He offered to take us in his minivan to the beaches and he also treated us to a great amount of information about the places we visited. He was a German history lover at least if not a retired historian. His name was Hans Forster. He took us and for a few hours we travelled with him in time.
We first stopped to have lunch and the sky promised us rain and clouds. After a few drops of rain the sun came out to play and we went on our merry way to visit different museums and sites where true stories about WWII happened. We stopped from place to place and our fellow guide had a wardrobe for every occasion. Really! He had shorts and a tee-shirt but also trousers and a jacket, a hat and I believe even a raincoat. The guy was prepare for everything and seemed to have all his belongings with him in the minivan. While we roamed around he stayed parked and enjoyed the weather that by then became sunny and pleasant. He told us a lot of stories that I don’t remember and some of them I couldn’t hear well from the back seat of the car. But I was delighted to observe him and happy to let my American friend listen to him explain what was what. I remember him telling us that during WWII he was 17 and he was trained to pilot a plane but was too young to fly for the Luftwaffe. He couldn’t participate to the war efforts. That was fortunate and unfortunate for him. He survived and he didn’t have to live with the regrets and the blame of killing innocent people. He was too young for that drama and life spared him of that pain and trauma. He still regretted all that happened during the war and what his country did during those unbearable years. So when he retired he went to France and became an independent tour guide paying what he considered his dues, to the society that once was torn by the war, by death, grief and trauma. He seemed to carry with him the burden of a past he was trained for but wasn’t able to participate in actively. Now he took his energy and will and decided to do some good for the sake of recuperation. That was noble of him. I believe that this year Hans Forster would be 90 years old. Unfortunately I couldn’t say because he didn’t have any e-mail or address of contact so when we parted it was really goodbye. I will never forget him that’s for sure.
So for a day we were driven around by a man passed his 80’s in his minivan, a German historian, almost veteran, that roamed the beaches of Normandy as the D-Day tour guide. That’s something!
He even showed a piece of armor that was made in his hometown. The past and the present seemed to collide for our guide and he didn’t mind sharing his story with us.
I had a wonderful day even if when we arrived on the field where the land met the sea and the earth was still marked with the traces of the explosions I’ve developed a terrible migraine. It’s been a surreal experience because the energy of the land completely changed and the terrible pain and suffering of the fallen ones was felt at the surface. I don’t know how many of the visitors have felt the vibrations. All I knew back then was that I had a terrible headache and I was feeling nauseated out of the blue. Now I wish I had along with me some empathic people around to be able to share the experience and have them tell me if they felt the same as I did. So if you ever go to Pointe du Hoc, let me know if you get the vibes. As soon as we left the premises, the headache disappeared and the nausea too. What was strange to me is that the earth surrounding that place didn’t get rid of the vibrations from the event that happened almost 70 years before. Normally we are taught that we can get rid of our negative energies or lower/baser energies if we walk barefoot in the grass or hug a tree. I personally experienced the relief of this exercise. Mother Earth is capable to set us free of those energies and refill us with higher energies that actually make us feel better. In the case of Point du Hoc, in Normandy, the trauma inflicted on so many people, the explosions, the bombs, the bullets, the blood lost, the souls risen,… well it seems that even after 70 years the land was still very much vibrating with lower energies. That makes you wonder. It felt like even the ground on which we were walking on was still suffering from the great trauma and the signs of it were visible and obvious.
There were holes in the ground like huge round basins where the bombes had exploded, nowadays they are filled with grass but their traces are clear. They look like round mini-pools filled with grass. As you can see in the picture the field is full of such traces. The barbed wire is rusty but still in place.
It is a place of contradictions. It looks almost peaceful in its devastating beauty. Without the traces of the war people would enjoy placing their tents for a day and night and stay star gazing. It is a picture perfect land… unless we count the devastating remains of the war …
In actuality sensitive people shouldn’t stay there more than a few minutes because the vibrations are so low, if my migraine is an indicator, that if you stay for long you get to experience a shift in the time/space continuum.
Since my visit I have spoken to various people both historians and sensitive people that confirmed the reality of the situation. Far from being a hazard, my migraine was just one of the many effects people feel in that area. Not everyone can feel it. Lucky for those who are able to escape the experience because it is very unpleasant. Nonetheless, for me it was pretty disturbing. I didn’t know that I was able to feel things at such a deep level. Had I been warned about these effects I am not sure that I would have had the courage to go there. Sometimes it is better to not know. I don’t regret a thing. It gave me a deeper experience and a deeper understanding of what has happened there and how such a traumatic group event can still leave a trace after decades have passed. I still think it was worth it. Have I known beforehand that this would happen, I’d be inclined to say that the fear of experiencing such an event would have stopped me from having the experience and it would have been one phenomenal experience less for me.
I feel it is my duty to warn people who want to make this journey into the past to be aware of the power of your encounter with it. You may feel absolutely nothing more than curiosity and that is totally fine but if you feel more don’t get spooked by it. You just need to have eaten (for energy- but do not go with a full stomach), be hydrated, wear some protective shields (semi-precious stones or a cross or any type of talisman that has worked for you in the past), be respectful, be aware and look and listen for signs. In case you do feel something out of the ordinary just trust your gut instinct, don’t dismiss it and send good healing thoughts to those souls that lost the fight with death on those green fields of Normandy.
I admit it is not just a holiday travel it’s a whole experience.
As for Hans Forster, once he drove us back to Caen, he disappeared into thin air, very much like he appeared. I had a sound board with me, my American friend, who was asking himself the same thing: did we imagine it all? Was that man real? We looked for him the next day and the next one. Once we confessed our thoughts to each other, we were pretty shocked to realize that we had been driven around by an 80 something man. He came out of nowhere when we were asking ourselves how in the world we’d get to the place where D-Day had happened and left as soon as he smiled and waved us farewell.
All the experience had been mystical, surreal and very emotional. We’ve decided to stay for another day because I loved the beach. We went to a place less dramatic but also so very quiet and calm. Time really seemed to be unimportant there. We took a bus and stopped somewhere near the beach. We walked barefoot in the sand for about 2 kilometers and arrived at the only restaurant/terrace that was to be found on that radius. I was so hungry I could eat my own hand. The food was superb in Lion sur Mer. The water was cold and we didn’t dare get inside. My feet were a translucent pink and the walk on the wet sand massaged them like nobody’s business. I felt great. I also got a serious sunburn that initially I didn’t feel because of the pleasant temperature and the wind. I had even put on sunscreen. It hasn’t been enough. So if you ever go to Normandy definitely take sunscreen and a hat or a bandana, cover yourself because the wind tricks you into feeling good when the sun is still at work. If I may, another suggestion. After travelling in such an emotionally challenging place, and after visiting such a quiet place, try to not get into the thick of things immediately. Give yourself a day or two of transit between the Divine-like place of vacation and the busy life in the city. The change can be unsettling.