Sunday, November 15, 2009

Walking the labyrinth for R. and J Jr.

Yesterday, after many attempts, foiled by weather or lack of respite person to let me get out for long enough, I finally made it to the labyrinth. The combination of weather that was at least not lashing rain, the nor'easter having moved off to sea, and business to transact in that area, and HS being over for the afternoon, enabled me finally to walk the labyrinth for friends R. and J. Jr, who are dealing with difficult health problems.

I walk the labyrinth for other people, feeling that it's not quite right to just do it for my own benefit, but I expect I get a benefit anyway. But it's a matter of putting their issues front and center and finding out what I can do to help, or at least ask the universe to swoop in and help.

What I do is start with the issue or problem, mentally put into words, then a pause looking across the labyrinth, before I look down at my own feet and start the walk, very slowly, never looking further ahead than my own toes moving slowly on the paths.

The thing about walking the labyrinth is that suddenly every thought and movement and sight is suddenly charged with significance.

On the way to the center, it's anxiety and indecision, particularly yesterday, when blowing leaves obscured the white stones that show you the path to take, and I think I probably went a bit wrong once or twice.

At the entrance I found a big leaf, beautiful colors, which I carried around not knowing why, until half way around I realized, oh, this is a stand in for R., she's walking with me in a sense. And the anxiety about getting lost in a labyrinth not more than thirty feet across is more about trying to get everything just right, when really it's not necessary, and not even possible at times. Just seeing as far as each foot goes will get you there.

And on the walk there were late bees and wasps, a ladybug, little shoots of celandine, purslane, chickweed, signs of life all around among the fallen leaves.

At the center where you pause at the four tree stumps that signify the four points of the compass, and where there's a container to put your thoughts and your symbol, I put in the leaf, and took a picture.

Usually I would not do photography, but I wanted to share this walk with the friends I did it for, and I'm pretty sure that's a good motive for introducing high tech into an ancient ritual.

Coming back from the center I always notice my breathing is quieter, my anxieties over with, life more within my grasp. And that's what I hope for the people in my mind as I walk. The prayer flags are Tibetan and fly all the time, sending our thoughts and wishes out to the world and beyond.

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