The Daily Walk

Welcome May’s Footsteps

A pine cone labyrinth created along a Georgian Hike in the woods of 2016As I find myself traveling much this year again, I discover a real necessity to step out into nature where ever I can. Whether I am on the road in my travels or just landing in a different city,  there is a greater calling to get out into the area and explore both the character  and the natural environment.

Outside of my original purpose for each journey, it adds a bit of balance to the unbalance that traveling can bring and perhaps more in regard to harmony, considering a larger look at blending the experiences of life. I think this year, many are taking that kind of life perspective, though perhaps on a more inward journey.

While its not surprising to walk in the footsteps of historical realities, traveling along the southern states as I move from the West Coast to the East  is more an appreciation from the eyes of newness and wonder of the experiences.

Where I step into nature by way of  a simple walk outdoors or a hike through the woods, into the canyons or along the rivers; I find a grounding and an unfolding by way of the release it affords. I wind my way around in nature and soon come to the reception of the experience as if I have found something of value and meaning. Reflection is a natural part of the process as I move back to the origins with a new beginning in mind.

In this the metaphorical labyrinth is alive in the engaged experience, either with intent at the forefront or reflection in the aftermath. I suppose the past two years of transition has taught me a more insightful introspection to realize the living labyrinth is but a walk in our everyday.

Be blessed in what May has to offer and the footsteps we are fortunate to leave.

Honoring World Labyrinth Day with the creation of a pine cone labyrinth along a nature hike in the woods of the Stone Mountain commemoration outside Atlanta, GA

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April Fool’s Reflection

April heralds many things including the practical joke. The legend of April Fool’s origination might be considered back in 1392 in the Canterbury tales by Chaucer. He quotes a date of March “thritty two”, which would translate to March 32nd or our April 1st.   Or it might come from the new Gregorian calendar initiated by the Pope in 1582, where many ignored the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year’s on April 1st instead of January 1st as we do currently.

hahalabyrinth

A design I created for National Humor Month

There are many ideas as to how we began this tradition of pulling a fast one in the name of fun and some of them have been quite amusing, the left handed whopper being a favorite or when Big Ben went digital. Behind it all is a little sport and fun and when the jokes are harmless, the fun is found more heartedly.

April is National Humor Month and so fitting when we have our US Tax day situated squarely at mid month… beware the Ides of April!

Let this be the month you pull a fast one on yourself, shift your walk to embrace something new, fun or just different than normal. Walk backwards to see where you’ve been, dance periodically down a path or two or start at a different point than the beginning. Let this be a month of getting out of routine.

Frequent a little fun and put some frolic in your step or add a little whimsy or light heartedness to your design if you are a creator. Enjoy 30 days of new creation in whatever way you walk, skip or sashay on your path in a metaphor of mirth.  This month, of the 12 words of the year focus, regards reflection… see your reflection in the walk and if it has become a little too serious, let this month represent a little of your light hearted nature.

Skip… and see where it takes you.

 

 

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The Ides of March…beware?

CautionLabyrinth_LYL.pngMid March has a bit of an edge to it with Shakespeare’s famous quote warning Julius Caesar of impending doom. It’s message reminds us of his actual death in 44 B.C. and the circumstances of betrayal and politics that led to his demise. That was approximately 2,058 years ago and the world is still cautioning us to beware. Coming across an online article, the message spelled out other disasters of the March Ides, including the demise of the Ed Sullivan Show in 1971… oh dear!

It brings to mind a question of fear and the labyrinth. Fear is quite present in society in a variety of shapes and sizes and when you look at the global picture, to feel safe is a hope for many. The idea of fear is largely of the unknown. We make wrong what we don’t understand and when we can shine a light on that, we seem to take away a lot of fearful supposition.

The question of how it relates to the labyrinth can be of the things we walk to shine the light on or of the things we can’t shine the light on so easily. The labyrinth can give comfort in our own abilities at a time when we can’t see them. It can unravel the fear step by step and let us examine and appreciate a different path’s perspective. Of the larger things in life that create fear, we can also use the labyrinth in prayerful purpose to bring ease and flow to a situation that seems locked down and unsure.

Those who walk regularly know of the benefits that the labyrinth can unwind. Sadly those naive may have different ideas. The simple act of sharing the benefits can invite a skeptic to explore and be a great introduction to where they are found and how they are used purposefully and practically. It is a reminder that fear can be a great way to introduce a solution. On this day of Ides, may you allow a walk with caution to open the doors and opportunities to care and share a little to make a lot of difference somewhere.

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Welcome March… Discover

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St. GilesCripplegate of London    Light after Dark Program

At the beginning of the year there were 12 words that appeared on the New Year’s walk and kept in the order they appeared, Discover was the third on the list. This month is then about discovery.  Discovery can be the simple and honest truths that appear on the path before us or the questions of life that lead to answers. There is perspective on the path to appreciate; and discovery is one item among the many that can lead to presence and purpose.

 

March is a month of change where the winds blow it in naturally and relieve the Earth of debris in some areas, where it moves to settle into others. Take notice of what lands in your life at any time this month and perhaps take it in as a message of movement to make purposeful or simply to blow away.

Discovery is found when we are present and paying attention and whether your eyebrows rise up in surprise or you skeptically investigate with furrowed brow, the activity means that you are indeed engaged in the process. Perhaps as you walk, you take notice of your brow and discover what results you get in relation to the tiny hairlines that converge to protect what the eyes see. Engage in discovery and let your path shine purpose.

 

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Fun with an after glow

GlowingFootLabyrinthWorking with kids one must be quick and on their feet. So the challenge of a small box of glowing plastic foot prints gave us lots of opportunity to get out of the box. Who says creativity is just kids play! I had as much fun as they did with ways in which we could create play, games and quite a number of labyrinths. With just these two items to work with the them became about becoming instep with getting out of the box.

The games were fun and imaginative and once I shared a few, others caught on and soon we had quite a lot of fun exploration. Then we began to use them in creation and with the labyrinths that were created this photo was the only one I could capture without kids in it to display. This design was fun because we turned off the lights once we put in on the ground, the feet it seems were glow in the dark. I had the kids walk in and in no time they were all in the center and so I had them walk back out, retracing their steps, backwards!

As the whole team of them did this, it was quite fun to watch them synchronize their steps as everyone just had to step on each footprint going backwards. While this was simply a spiral in, I think they gave it the labyrinth aspect as they had to learn to move within movements as they took each step and so it became the labyrinth of mind and body. It is in the simple things that the greatness is shown.

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In Full Presence

The signs were clear, every day or two another gesture.

Hoof prints on the outer circuit, scat on turns three and six.

Imprint of your body in the wet grass.

But when you showed up in your full presence

I took a breath like being born. As I stepped onto the path

I saw you lying at the edge of the labyrinth

staring at me with your kind and serious face

as if to say, “I will witness your journey.”

Your two children in the woods just behind you

Joined by Mom and Grandma VanHoorn and Grandma Boelhower

and the mothers of all ages and the spirits

of all the ancestors gathered in the circle of witness to say,

“You are never alone, your steps your songs your prayers

echo in the great temple of being and here is the center.

All the generations gather around you when you walk.

Yes, sometimes you walk a question and sometimes an alleluia

some days the dark dance of grief and other days the lyrics of laughter

but all in the circle of breath in each moment.”

To receive the gift and gift it back again.

The story is particular and forever the same.

This moment this day this year

you are the child and the parent and the grandparent

and you too will become the ancestor. In a few days

or a few moments the circle will turn for you

and you will witness from the edge of the path

the steps of those who remember your name and who have forgotten.

You will gather around them and breathe your prayers over them

because the dance and the circle are one.

by Gary Boelhower

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Begin 2016

What does it mean to begin? Typical expressions may center around starting or commencing an experience, yet what does it mean to you to begin? As it is the beginning of a brand new year and in the message written for the New Year’s wish for a simpler year, 12 words were issued as a greeting. As we can find meaning in the metaphor quite easily with the labyrinth, perhaps it can be a quest for simplicity to find the value for what lies within the simple values we can create and live by this year.

2016BeginExplore the simplicity in beginning and take it in stride in your daily walks this month to examine the complexities in how we live and the ways we do things for ourselves and for all that extend outside ourselves. What does begin mean to you?

 

 

 

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Welcome 2016!

2016January_365NewsWelcome

Create a simpler year
Begin. Walk. Discover. Reflect. Appreciate. Accept. Learn. Grow. Live. Love. Inspire. Contribute
Repeat

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The Curious How…

Generally “How” can be identified as Hundreds of Ways. The how of anything is up to the creator of the desire to know. It is embarked upon with a point of reaching satisfaction and sometimes this point of surrender and completion comes from reaching a destination and sometimes it is the fascination of the journey from here to there.

How ?

Yesterday I was asked how I created my traveling journey labyrinth. I found it a playful excursion in relating and reflecting upon my year and my artistic or enjoyable rendering of the travel in lines and segments. It does little to tell of the bounty of the travel, the hardships, discoveries or the purpose of each transit, rather it paints a simple outline for the story to flow with a prioritization that is anchored in time. Sometimes that is all we need is the mere outline to give us the structure to share rich content.

To form the outline, I simply wrote out my travel log from beginning to end. What I discovered was that I began the same place I ended, very like the unicursal travel of the labyrinth. I also found that I had a center point to all the separate trips that I traversed and each took me generally to more than one location and back again, mostly on the same path or along a vein that ran in the same direction. How labyrinth like is that?

If we only looked at our daily trips around the house, we might also see a pattern as to where we begin and end and where we find our central focus. We might also see the revolutions we create and the extensions that allow us to more fully utilize our space followed by a return value to center or beginning point. We might do this in our daily travels; knowing home is our beginning and consummation as the day draws to a close.

I simply used the same concept to materialize the many places I moved from the center in exploration and further purpose and returned again. Indeed it is a marvelous reflection for I have traveled a number of places this year and all with diverse purpose that flows into one larger meaning. It’s reflection speaks volumes to me and in doing so, perhaps your travels of the year, no matter how expansive or how close to home they may have been, will impart a memory, a moment of realization or a meaning that affects you.

How do I ...

As to the How….

  1. I began with a piece of paper as I attempted to list out the places I had been on a map, though found the map to small for visual appreciation. Listing the geography on a timeline.
  2. Next I turned the paper over and simply dotted the paper with all the locations.
  3. Then I drew intersecting lines of my trip to and from, watching the circles develop.
  4. I noticed the pattern of Chicago as my center from which I traveled.
  5. I noticed Las Vegas from where I began and now ended
  6. I noticed the labyrinth of my separate journeys were one larger one of my year
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Consider where you have been….

Where have you taken yourself this year?

Where have you taken yourself this year?

Often to really consider where you are going, it is good to reflect upon where you have been. If you have not played along with the game outlined in our blog of December 1, then perhaps take each week in reflection a little differently.

I seem to have posted to different ways to reflect in our Facebook page and on this blog, so take which ever way makes sense and reflect well.

 

This design is from all my travels this year. I decided to plot them out on the path and as many were circular routes that came back to a home base, it was a labyrinth in a labyrinth. See if you can figure out my path…  The image is the cleaned up version of the path.

Travel Log 2015

Share your labyrinth… where have you been in 2015?

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