Monthly Archives: July 2013

Accidental Travels

Ionic Labyrinth by the Sea

No matter the journey we are on for the summer or for our lives, it always seems it’s the moments of right now that consume our attention and focus. When we are present to the journey we may be able to better direct its flow, though there are times to note that even when we are most present there can appear on the path the many curiosities known as accidents along the way.

Often they are not really accidents, though seem to grab our attention and focus enough to remind us about what is important and where we were putting our focus, so that perhaps we could redirect our attention to that which was of intention and importance to us.

Sometimes they are the happy little accidents that surprise and delight us that are more likely to be thoughts we had at a previous time and put a bit of intention to that are just now showing up. It’s often a joyful surprise when we realize it this way.

At other times, the accidents can throw us, as we of course don’t see it coming and then in a sudden instant, it is upon us. It is almost always unwelcome because it can be accompanied by discomfort of one sort or another. We don’t often like to sit with this and realize it as a message. How might this be a beneficial message?

The labyrinth is a wonderful tool in helping us to find the reality in any given situation by simply following the three suggested “R’s” of release, receive and reflect. In asking the question we may find that life really isn’t about win or lose situations, it’s more like win or learn. A reminder not to lose the lessons that the path often prevails with.

Today, the accidental journey is not my own, instead it is that of being directly affected by another’s accident and on my walk today am reminded that whether it rains or shines, I choose how to walk my path and how I will represent my values and beliefs. At the end of the day… did I use the gift of this path well?

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Traveling with Form and Flow

labyrinth garden

Form or structure… Labyrinth Garden at Home Design Lover

The labyrinth presents us with many opportunities in its simple design. We can travel the path that is structured and gives us clear guidelines like the one of the labyrinth in the rear of the garden picture, or simply have a walk along the meander that traverses in different flow. It’s all a walk and a choice.

In life, sometimes we need the form and structure to guide us and give us some grounding and stability. Knowing the boundaries can help us connect what we know with what others do and how to fit in society. On the other hand, with flow, it simply has a will and moves. Like the flow of water, it simply finds a way and eventually will wear down the resistance of obstacles in its path solely by depending upon its continual strength and endurance.

on the travels we take, using the idea of either in balance is always a helpful way to stay that much more flexible in our footing.

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Away From Home

labyrinth in the Cascade Mountains, Washington State Grunewald guild retreat

Grunewald Guild Retreat Labyrinth of Washington State

When traveling on the path of life or the latest vacation, we begin at a home point and in someways end up there when we want to find a grounding or humbling reminders of what our journey is all about.

“Home is where the heart is”, an often well said quote and in the walk of the labyrinth, where indeed is our heart? We often think it at the center of things and metaphorically it wouldn’t be so far from the truth. When we want to escape, we take the nine inch journey for example, from head to heart and we find home again.

Isn’t that the way of the walk, getting out of our head and back into our heart?

Where ever we travel and how far we go, it is nice to know that coming home means once again coming to the heart of things and that can be found at any given point. Travel well in this month of the journey and perhaps find a peace in the places you are in and leave a little of our home everywhere. Kind of makes us look at the planet a little bit differently if everywhere is though of as home.

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Going Away

labyrinth at Bluffton University Ohio

The Bluffton University Campus, OH

In the theme of vacation, traveling, and the natural settings of an outdoor labyrinth in season, is a trip through the circles. One might think that we are on a journey and some may venture far, though in the end we generally come back to our roots.

It’s like that in life and as a traveler, we do always end up at our start, though we may not come back the same as we were. Just a simple path, though it leads to many interesting journeys of the mind as it does for the soul. We are never the same again.

This morning’s walk is singular, dewy and brightening. A day and one like no other shall ever be, filled with opportunities, possibilities and maybe some of the things that we wish weren’t there too, all on this specific day in the year of 2013 in the time of our life. It is be composed of the steps taken and the paths crossed and it bears the fruits of accomplishment in being witness to what is inserted and perhaps leave us drained of what we took from it. It’s ours… all ours!

It seems to be that the hourglass at the day’s start is full of all the time for that day and as we walk into it, the glass begins a slow gradual recession. It creates a sense of urgency and awe as we move away from the fullness to the last drop.

In going away from the top of the timeline, are we clenched with the loss in our moments to walk or open to notice what shows up today? It is a good question to begin with and a great question during the play of our day to pause for reflection. So whether we are in the beginning of our walk, the center or in reflection, how did it go? How far away do we go from our roots or the place of what is right and true about us in a day’s time and how much does it take to travel back? Always worth a good reflection.. .travel on!

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Along the Way

Quarterly, the meeting of the Heartland Labyrinth takes place to infuse a sense of resource and support for those who have affiliation of the labyrinth. Whether they are facilitators, builders, researchers, pastoral, artisans or simply enthusiasts… all are welcome to enjoy the circle.

The July meeting took place outdoors and typically will consist of an hour of re connection and introduction for the newly initiated, we follow with some direction and news and complete with a talk and a walk. We invite members to share their expertise as we learn from everyone and each develops a program to share when it is their turn. We are rich with skill, talent and ability we find and our meeting concludes with a walk that is generally a focus on the topic at hand, though also takes in much of our overall meeting.

Construction a Chartres Labyrinth Design

Construction a Chartres Labyrinth Design

For our most recent gathering, one of our locals (he travels and hour to join us) has been sharing his ability to create outdoor labyrinths for many in his local area. We asked him to share his talent and in doing so, he graciously set up a teaching opportunity and had us construct a labyrinth according to his schematic. It was linear and an exact method that seemed to form from his Physical Education background. For many this might be really on target and for others it might be not as engaging. This was the case in our group.

labyrinth building

Building Community Collectively

What occurred in the process however of bringing the circle to a conclusion was the idea of contribution and how we may see things differently, though along the way, we were all working toward the same end goal. Everyone reframed to find their part and what seemed like a group of individuals unique unto their own abilities, came the union of the circle all ending as one team united for a single purpose.

The labyrinth at St. Hughs in Elgin, IL

St. Hughs of Lincoln Episcopal Church in Elgin, IL

Had we stuck to our own individuality, we would have never been able to accomplish what we did. The funny thing was that we made a mistake, learned how much we do make mistakes and realized that in the end, we all were recipients of a greater lesson and that is all we needed. We did not complete the construction as we didn’t have to, the lesson was quite complete in what we learned together. There was satisfaction all around in taking from the experience what we did and the established labyrinth that we ended up walking right next to it was sitting waiting all along for our collective consciousness to understand and reflect.

Just when you think you know, along the way comes wisdom to simply be with an experience and really know. All on a summer’s day!

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Tiny Traveler Messages

Squirrel on the Labyrinth

Who’s on your path today?

A traveler showed up in the window sill this morning, by way of shaking bushes. Looking out, it was as if the rustling was a call to attention. Suddenly a squirrel popped up on one of the stronger branches and made a flying leap to another.

It’s misfortune was that the one it leapt to was a younger more supple choice that bent under it’s weight and as quickly as it appeared, disappeared sinking down below the pane. Though, the bushes still rustled and in waiting for the reemergence, patience kept company.

Soon the squirrel appeared flinging itself directly onto the sill in a most comical fashion. From there it moved in natural order flinging body to the nearest next branch and this time succeeded in finding a supportive one and soon scrambled out of site continuing it’s daily journey. Who would have known of this visit, had their not been a witness?

Not thinking too much about it, there was another squirrel who came calling on the labyrinth later on. Darting back and forth it was on its own labyrinthic journey and then it was gone. Wondering at the presence of squirrels in this day as if there were deeper meaning, thoughts of squirreling away and foraging came to mind. Though,when one considers the characteristics of the squirrel and blends them with our purpose this month of the travels we take naturally, a bit of conclusion arrived.

Without too much thought and the mere amusement of it all, it seemed the Squirrel, as known for its quick darting about, may add to our amusement.. so perhaps there is a message for the traveler about enjoying the journey. The way it darted about on the labyrinth was methodical in that it exercised itself back and forth until it had enough and then promptly left. Read what you will into that, though when we have had the fill of our walk, we have what we came for. Sometimes we are interrupted in our travels or at other times find that enough is enough. This could well be that its just a reminder that it’s ok just to have what we really require, and be satisfied.

Yes…it’s aMAZEing.
A little joy from sacred habits

As for the early morning limbo routine, pure fun amusement and perhaps a reminder that to discover the most, fling yourself into life and know you will land somewhere, if we let our natural instincts come alive it may hold more meaning than we first surmise.

Oh what a walk… oh what a morning… and then again, maybe a squirrel is just a squirrel and it’s all just a bit nutty 🙂

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Independence

fireworks over desert labyrinth

Celebrations and Silence, fireworks in the desert

As the Nation of America celebrates it’s historic independence, there is an exploration of the word in a deeper sense for labyrinth walkers. Together we celebrate what’s right about our nation, we let go of all the divisions and we come together in groups to commune. Even though many will not be in agreement about how we celebrate the day’s purpose, we will all find small cause for celebration. Perhaps we are off work, maybe we get connected with loved ones or even get to be part of something bigger such as participation in a parade.

We will find our causes and as a nation we will lift ourselves maybe just for the day. For those who walk, it may be our independent journey, though as we move we are also joined by the essence of celebration that emanates from the nation around us. For those in other nations, we are but neighbors who’s party spills over. Join in and find your own connection to it while maintaining your independence from it.

Somehow it is that blissful place about being on the edge of both worlds…should we choose to see it that way.

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Prenoise

predawn labyrinth walk

image courtesy of theage.com.au

It is the early morning and the sun is beginning to attest to its presence with a sliver of light filtering out onto the darker horizon. Presently there are the shadows of the morning created in illumination of this slight peak of light and the world is different.

It is not yet awake and the stillness of the night is profoundly peaceful… an excellent time for a dewy morning step onto the landscape of circles. There is the breath of the sleeping and its methodical pace of expected intake and long slumbering exhale.

The sounds of the impending morning are present and in the natural order there is a chirp of the crickets that join in the walk. A caress of the wind is welcomed and the resulting rustle in the leaves of the nearby deciduous family are included in the pre noise of the expected day.

We cannot help but be joined with the accompaniment of feeling as it compliments the sound and with the Earth, we wake up in our walk. Consciousness finds us and slides in without much fanfare elevating our experience and extrapolating our relationship to all.

As the world comes to its awakening and the celebrations of independence begin, enjoy the pre noise that shares volumes in its innocent natural splendor.

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Welcome July

The feet of a fellow traveler adorned with sentiment for well journies

The feet say “Go Well” and “Stay Well” of the South African language on the journey of the Reconciliation Labyrinth of Clare Wilson

Tis a new month and a walk into the summer season. A great time for the traveler’s foot to be considered. It’s a period when vacations begin, mood shifts to absorb the length of daylight available, and work loads adjust to accommodate the change in climate… hopefully.

With it a period of heightened curiosity may have us stepping into areas of the unknown, our feet developing that extra layer of impenetrable thickness to become more practical in the outdoor environs. As we find ourselves acclimating with nature again, our bodies tend to take on the necessary attributes to maintain a balance as we move whats inward to outward.

It’s that time when those who may not otherwise shed shoes and go barefoot on the labyrinth, do. Feeling the Earth in grass and soil under one’s feet can be a restoration of the soul. It can evoke the wonder of our youth and may even adjust the body to a more natural stride that takes in the walk as the breath.

Our feet carry us forward in a systematic pace moving further inward on our journeys within the labyrinth, though sometimes there is that new culture of climate acknowledged and we dance a bit, tiptoe or tread with lighter purpose to the destinations unknown. At any other time they may just be appendages we give little consideration to until they call forth our attention with overuse. For now, for this month, consider the foot as your guide to the path and how its movement and connection with it determine your soul outcome.

Our focus is the traveler in the natural destination… may your journey of July be rich with insight and external realization.

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