Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Will It Go 'Round in Circles?

Leslie, the owner of the Santosha on the Ridge B&B had a labyrinth built on the property.

I must confess that I knew nothing of labyrinths before I took this trip. When telling us about the Columcille Park, she mentioned walking the labyrinth there and like many people, I concluded that it was a type of maze.

One afternoon, I wandered out to the Santosha labyrinth. I stood at the entrance, looking down a gentle slope toward the river just out of sight below and cleared my mind of any notions I may have had.

I would follow the path and let it tell me its story.

But it told me my story. The story of all humans. Of life. It reminded me that the path is never straight. It is never direct. I was walking towards my goal - the bench in the center - but the path was taking me away from the center, then tantalizingly close, and back away again.

It was telling me no matter your plans - the earth, the universe, your god, whatever name you give to that which guides you has its own plans. You can peacefully walk the path laid before you, learning as you go or you can fight and rail against it, missing the entire journey.

I walked the path, feeling the bark of trees as I passed by, admiring stones set out along the way, noticing the many hues of yellows and reds of the leaves beneath my feet. At last I did reach the bench and sat quietly there, listening to the wind through the trees, the scrunch of leaves being shuffled by the chipmunks and the conversations of the crows. I watched the light and shadows ripple as the trees swayed. I breathed in the clear, crisp air, slightly tinged with wood smoke from a fireplace down the hill.

I felt the exhilarating paradox of being completely at peace and completely energized at once.

And I walked out the same way I walked in, open to what our Mother had to tell me.


joan said...

Soon we will have one of our own. A labrynth is planned for our hospital meditation garden. You can go round and round.

Marcheline said...

There is a labyrinth in a lovely park just north of where we live, and it is a truly great spiritual journey, just walking in silence and observing the pattern of life.

This is one of your best posts ever.

- M

jaz said...

I learned that at 17, when I got caught in a really strong current while swimming in Northern CA.

I got so tired trying to swim out of it that I finally had to just let go and allow it to carry me wherever it would carry me. It dropped me off near a cliff and I was able to get back on shore.

The lesson probably didn't take as well as it should have.