Posts Tagged ‘labyrinth’

Cats in the Labyrinth

Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008

My cat companion Pollux never walked my backyard labyrinth. Shortly after her arrival in my life, my most recent cat companion, Willow, followed me right in. Other mornings she went her own way. Some people do not respond to labyrinths at all, and some only want to walk them occasionally. There have been periods of time during which I didn’t feel drawn to the labyrinth, but eventually it has always called me back.

The Labyrinth as Mirror

Posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008

I was in the Asheville area for a week prior to my move here. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day in October, 2001, when my friend took me to a labyrinth near Brevard. The Chartres pattern had been made by setting bricks down into a grassy field. My friend went first, and I followed shortly thereafter, delighting in the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet. Alas, the leaves were the same color as the bricks and, for the first and only time out of several hundred walks, I missed a turn and ended up at the beginning rather than at the center. As I cried, I processed this turn of events. Often what you get from the labyrinth is a reflection of where you are in your life, and this was perfect: I was confused and uncertain about my direction, including the impending move to Asheville. Once again, the labyrinth had spoken to me.

Labyrinth Creativity

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

In November of 2007 I went to the home of Lisa Gidlow Moriarty of Paths of Peace ( and visited several of the labyrinths she has in her yard. I would have liked more time, but it was a chilly day and I was meeting a friend for dinner. Still, the time I had there was delightful, as I got to see and walk some traditional labyrinths and some which are of Lisa’s own creation. I love the creativity which gets expressed as people play with the labyrinth. (Watch for a lap-sized quilted butterfly labyrinth from InnerLandscaping/Healing Path Quilts in the near future.)

Companions on Our Journey

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I recently experiencd the “Appleton Walk” in a classical labyrinth. One person begins walking out from the center, while another begins walking in from the entrance. Shortly they come together and are able to walk together for a good portion of time.
Another wonderful metaphor for life from the labyrinth: we can journey through life with someone for quite a distance and then discover that we were actually headed in different directions. It can be shocking but, knowing at the outset that I would only walk with my labyrinth partner for a certain period of time, I was able to enjoy both the time we spent arm in arm, and the point at which we parted and continued on our own.
If I can remember to approach every relationship in that fashion, then I can enjoy the present moments together and be less troubled by any apparent parting of the ways.

Walking with Grace

Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2008

A number of years ago I was headed back to San Francisco for the first time after I had discovered labyrinths. Unlike previous visits, in which I usually headed straight for the wharf or the beach, this time I was going to Grace Cathedral to walk its outdoor labyrinth. I had my handy little multi-page map of the city, complete with bus and trolley lines, and was ready for the adventure.

It was a Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday, as it happened), and I approached the Cathedral slowly, stopping in a small park across the street to sit and wait for the last service to let out and the time to be just right. A few minutes later the lower doors flew open and, rather than just a throng of people, a colorful lion emerged, accompanied by the sound of rattles and horns. It seems it was also Chinese New Year, and the lion was an auspicious sign.

I watched and enjoyed the spectacle from afar, waiting for the crowd to dissipate before crossing the street and climbing the steps to the labyrinth inlaid in the concrete. I found the February day balmy enough to remove my shoes before crossing the threshold. When I began my walk, I was completely alone in the labyrinth.

I was aware when a family (mother, daughter, son) entered the area. My awareness took in their wonder even as I remained intent on my walk. I smiled when the little girl, following my example, took off her shoes and began walking, while mom and brother sat on one of the concrete benches to watch.

The girl’s pace was slightly faster than mine, but not as rapid as most children’s, and my head start kept me ahead of her until I reached the center. When the girl reached the center, she did a little dance, then skipped across the eleven circuits back to where her mother and brother awaited her. And I thanked the labyrinth for her companionship.

Cats in the Labyrinth

Posted on Saturday, July 19th, 2008

In September of 2007 Pollux, my cat companion of 19 years, died. After buryiing him in my back yard next ro his brother under the butterfly bush overlooking my labyrinth, I walked the labyrinth and swear I heard the bell on Pollux’ collar tinkling as he walked with me in spirit.

Unexpectedly, by October I had a new cat companion, named Willow. One of her first mornings with me, she joined me in the labyrinth. She walked the first couple of turns and then sat there, waiting for me to double back and pet her as I passed. I was delighted to do so.

A few days later, Willow once again followed me into the labyrinth and, as I made the first turn, she continued straight ahead to the center, where she sat and waited patiently for me to reach her.

Sometimes we can do that—begin a new enterprise and fly straight to the center—bull’s eye. More often, though, we do take a number of twists and turns to get to our destination.

Lighten Up

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2008

I dedicated my labyrinth on winter solstice of 2005. Several friends were present, as well as my 8 year old goddaughter, who ran and skipped along the path, laughing and singing. She reminded me that I often take life’s journey too seriously. Since then, I have begun dancing at the turns of the large, canvas Chartres pattern which Jeannette Stokes brings to Asheville each spring. I laugh more. I feel lighter. Delighted. Enlighted?

Walking with Spirit(s)

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I have a walkable labyrinth in my back yard (you can see it in the Guidance section of my website) whose path is defined by overturned wine bottles, and lined with pine needles. I love the metaphor of “walking with spirits.” I also love that the overturned bottles can hold various items, from tobacco offerings, to tea lights for late night summer solstice walks, to little stones and crystals that I drop in to acknowledge another walk. And I love that these items—especially the most shiny—are often removed from their holders. Usually they are simply deposited next to the bottle from which they came; sometimes they roll or are moved several bottles away; occasionally they disappear completely, perhaps to reappear several weeks or months later . Is it Spirit which is playing hide and seek with me? Is it animals? Is it the wind or an especially hard rain?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter; what matters is the walk, and what I discover about myself on the walk. There are shiny pieces of myself that sometimes disappear or get mislaid; sometimes they reappear, just when they are needed, and sometimes they disappear forever to make room for some other aspect to come forward.