Spring and summer have been great for walking labyrinths. Catch up with what has happened at the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth since snowmelt. On your travels check out The Labyrinth Locator to find labyrinths along your path. Read more on the wonderment tab of Winding Pathways.
The subtleties of walking a labyrinth in fresh snow or in the dark have not been lost on me. Muscle memory, night vision, and simple observation help navigate the terrain when obvious landmarks are obscure.
Muscle memory helps find the path in the dark.
Before the snow fell, when I walk the labyrinth in the dark, the memory of the path, familiarity with the number of steps to a turn, and the various plant heights help me navigate. The funny little statues and boulders along the way form the boundaries. Lights from passing cars not only illuminate the path briefly and also wreck night vision. So, counting steps and simply being aware of where I am on the labyrinth help keep me on the path.
With snow on the ground, the snowshoes make terrific “pat down” equipment and after a few times walking is easy. So, until a new snow, I can just wear boots. Stay on the beaten path or find myself “post-holing” through deep snow.
The brilliance of a sunny day can be confusing, so after a fresh snowfall, I look for the burned stems of plants and the slight depression of past walks as guides. And, how the drifted snow reveals a different texture is fascinating.
Odd marks in the snow capture my attention. Little holes that appear from nowhere, then tiny tracks of a rodent, then another little hole where it dropped back in the security and relative warmth of the snow tunnels.
The fate of the incautious rodent is evident where tracks suddenly disappear with telltale feather strokes on the snow. Whoooo’s for lunch?
Walking the labyrinth in winter brings its own rewards.
On a lovely late summer day, the Yoga classes from PCI and Toula Yoga, led by Lisa Hanigan and Cyndy Logue, picnicked and walked the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth. After I shared a brief introduction and overview of labyrinths, each woman began her walk. Each rang the portal bell and started her journey as I held space. Some were hesitant until they realized the path was clear. Others boldly set out. Energy built as they connected with themselves and the labyrinth.
Before the women walked I had opened the space and measured the energy which was low. Toward the end and after all had left the labyrinth, I measured the energy again before closing the labyrinth. The rods whirled over 200 times! Interesting to me was that the dowsing rods responded differently as the women moved through and out of the labyrinth, sometimes swinging slowly and other times quickly.
The pilgrims were quiet as they rang the bell and left the labyrinth, then on the porch steps, they began to chat as they worked finger labyrinths.
Following are some observations and pictures from our day.
Wendy, who has been strong for a sister with health concerns, experienced “spontaneous tears that stopped when I left the labyrinth.” Barb felt a “tranquility I don’t’ find in my ordinary day.” Lisa had a “deep connection with nature” and Rose Mary added to that observation remarking on the “warm peace with all.” One pilgrim simply gave a big hug as she left with tears in her eyes. Another gently stroked plants with the turkey feather as she moved along each section of the path. Each expressed gratitude for the experience.
Cyndy penned, “My experience today was very different from the first walk in Muscatine. As I reflect back on the first walk, I think I felt such intense energy that day because that is what I needed. I had given so much of my energy away, both mentally, physically and emotionally, that I needed to recharge. I needed to trust my own intuition. It was about taking time for me, meeting new people and hearing their story. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” (Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr)
“Today’s walk was about connecting with nature and being present. Taking time to notice: the ants, bees, flowers and emerging cicadas adhered to the side of the bench. It was about feeling the breeze and warmth of the sun, and just being in that moment and enjoying it. It was also about sharing the gift of this experience with others. “In the end, you always go back to the people that were there in the beginning.” This is so fitting for me, as my personal journey began in Lisa’s yoga class and has grown exponentially. I learn new things about myself daily. “The only journey is the journey within.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
“Today the two yoga groups became one in spirit. I’m thankful every day for the wonderful souls I’ve met on my journey of life!
“Thank you for another great adventure!”
Members of Wednesday and Friday’s Yoga Classes gather to walk the labyrinth.