We are playing… The 12 Days of Labyrinths Game
Play along in December, any 12 days or just make it last all month. Today’s post moves beyond the simple preparations into the action of the game itself. Read The Game and How to Play in the link below to follow along. Then send along comments of your experience.
The Game and How to Play
Preparations…12 Things that Matter
Preparations…12 Gifts, Talents or Abilities
Preparations…12 People of Influence
Day 1 l Day 2 l Day 3
On the fourth day of labyrinths… Observance educates
The fun of this game is to find new paths to walk, and as you may have noted, a little bit of creativity goes a long way. There are endless ways to walk when you get outside the circle of what you see before you. Finding new labyrinths is all about discovering designs planted in the world, as part of the natural landscape, envisioned creativity, and innovative expressions.
Today’s game used my eyes. It hadn’t occurred to me to consider this method until I realized I was sitting back with a cup of tea just relaxing as I watched my mother using one of the finger labyrinths I had brought with. It was affirming and endearing to watch her get excited when I brought out my box of finger labyrinths. She asked about each one and I shared a little bit about the significance of the style and where I had secured them. Then she closed her eyes and took off.
I had forgotten that she had kept a double classical design that I had left her years ago and she found it as we were digging through boxes today. She thought my nephew had taken it home awhile ago, so was happy to have claimed it once again.
I sat back with my tea and merely watched as she put her fingers in place, closed her eyes and then silently moved her fingers intent upon her actions. Noting her careful manner and the searching fingers as she maneuvered the paths quietly, there was a sense of respect she had for what she was doing, as if she had experienced this conversation many times before. I asked if she knew that she didn’t have to close her eyes. She said she did and that this was just her way of listening to it.
That would be an accurate description. She had the eagerness of a child and the reserve of someone knowing. With each labyrinth I placed before her, she closed her eyes and felt her way through. This was much like the dogged persistence she displayed when she was on task with a project, determined she would finish, though this had an air of peacefulness to it.
It made me wonder at my own persistence and I noticed how I closed my eyes to feel the experience too. Her careful manner on the labyrinth was a part of her makeup, aged and aware that all was not the same as it once had been. Her playful nature was evident as well as her enthusiasm and anticipation grew as I reached in the box to share another design, she played with several.
I thought of what was important as I watched her walk and became aware of communication. We both seemed in the same boat on many aspects, mirroring a true image for the other. We had been listening to each other and at times over speaking. It was clear we both needed to be heard. To listen with the heart of appreciation was my task, mirroring for my mother the listening she longed for as one now alone in the world.
What I began to notice however was that I also needed to speak up, to get louder as her loss of hearing had grown. In our family we can be loud as a group, though individually we are rather soft spoken. I turned on my speakers voice and when I did, it made all the difference in her ability to hear me. The aged aren’t always aware of their hearing difficulties and are sometimes reluctant to accept it. This small observation made a world of difference in our communication.
The person who popped up in mind today as I was moving through the experience was Jean. She had been a presence in my life this year at a most significant time. She did the one most important thing for me that mattered, she listened empathetically. I didn’t require assistance only someone to listen as I sorted things out loud. In that ability she both gave and earned respect in our relationship.
The power of observation can be enhanced when we let go of expectation and simply accept what we see when we do. As someone who guides self actualization, observation is key to developing meaningful conversation. I’ve often observed groups walking as a way to study behavioral modes and assisted individuals and families to build relationships by observing each other on the path. Today I was gifted with an observation that will engage and enhance the relationship between mother and daughter significantly.