This post has been stewing for nights and days … time to serve it up.
A week ago I went to a continuing education event held at a church in north Georgia. (A heady, hopeful, helpful congregation committed to its community beyond itself, should you ever find yourself in Cherry Log, Georgia of a Sunday morning.) After the lecture, I had some time to fill before I was to meet a friend afterward. So I visited the congregation’s community garden. The large sweet potato patch is lying fallow this winter, but collards are thriving in raised beds.
Ah, collards … cabbage that just never got its head together.
Then I walked the new labyrinth sited nearby. Labyrinths, or “prayer paths,” are an ancient device of spiritual discipline, recently revived in many places. They may resemble mazes, but are not—a labyrinth’s path spirals toward its destination in a series of reversals, but inevitably leads to the center, then out again. It invites a journey upon which one cannot get lost.
I have walked labyrinths dozens, perhaps hundreds of times, and never had quite the same experience twice. This time, the stones that bordered the path evoked all I’ve left behind—not alone in the cause of “lightening up,” but all along the way. Living extracts its toll in change.
If I could look behind at the course of my life at what I’ve deliberately dropped or accidentally abandoned, I thought, it would form a path. Am I happy with where it seems to be leading? I can’t always tell. Sometimes it changes direction very quickly. But that’s no reason to mistrust the journey, nor my companions on it. I don’t sense we’re lost.
So, leaving what I must and may, I’ll step out and step on.
shedding style: release
destination: the journey that is the destination
Comments welcome … do you have insights to share from your own labyrinth ways along life’s path?