I just got back from a week’s holiday on Vancouver Island, and I thought I’d post something a little different for a change. Thanks to Sacred Circles, Healing Hands for the inspiration of the labyrinth at the Milner Gardens and Woodland, Qualicum Beach, BC.
It doesn’t fit my preconception of a labyrinth.
It’s about fifteen feet in diameter, a shallow muddy path worn into the brilliant green rainforest moss. A few stones lie in the middle.
I stand beside it, my cynical eye tracing the route from entrance to centre. It’s probably a trick; a series of dead ends to confound those foolish enough to attempt it.
But it’s simple. Around and back, a couple of reversals and a turn.
The sign says I may walk the labyrinth to meditate, experience feelings. That there’s no “wrong” way to walk.
Why bother? I already know the route and there’s nothing remarkable at the end. The concentric paths are narrowly spaced. Walking in circles would be a waste of time. I’d look like an idiot.
I stand outside the labyrinth looking in.
Imprisoned by ego. Unwilling to court ridicule. Too old for magic.
I turn to walk away.
This is silly. It’s cold and cloudy and starting to rain. It’s just a patch of dirt and grass.
And yet it holds me.
When did I become so jaded?
How often have I hovered on the outside, unwilling to step forward and risk disapproval?
My boots squish softly on the wet ground as I skirt around to the labyrinth’s entrance. I mustn’t reject the established way.
Compelled to the path, I place my feet carefully within the narrow tracks, walking back and forth; around and around like a fool who can’t see that the destination is only a few feet away.
But it’s not about the destination.
I complete the final turn and stand looking down at the stones on the ground. Just a few ordinary stones. No discernible pattern. No reward.
But it’s not about a reward.
Freed, I step lightly, respectfully, straight across the labyrinth. I place my feet on its paths, but I am no longer constrained by its direction.
I stand contemplating my journey for a moment before I turn, smiling, to rejoin the world.