Labyrinth Walks

Writing And Walking And Joy

Sunday, April 17th, 2016 | Joy, Labyrinth Walks | No Comments

My day job at a regional bank has been so busy lately that  I have not been taking time for walks. Now this is nuts, because I live in one of the most beautiful places and it is spring, when the mountains and hills are finally turning green again, and all the trees are beginning to lose their blooms. But one of my New Year’s Resolutions, along with looking for Joy, is to not judge myself. So no judgement. I haven’t walked much, but maybe I will tomorrow. Or later today.

So it goes with things we know are good for us. Sometimes Joy requires discipline,too.

When I lived in New York,  occasionally walked a labyrinth at Battery Park at the very southern tip of the city. It was as soothing as all labyrinths are, and the noise of tourists and traffic fell away in that place, as if it was untouched by time or reality. I suppose every labyrinth is touched with a different kind of reality, a sense of peace.

I have not gone labyrinth walking since I came to Asheville almost three years ago. Definitely another walk to add to my Joy list.

battery_labyrinth9-11-02

One of my favorite labyrinths is in Monk’s Corner, SC.  Here’s a photo of this labyrinth in late fall. Drawn by high grasses and wild flowers, it is one of the largest labyrinth walks I’ve ever taken. I kept being distracted by the butterflies and dragonflies that abounded there. But I finished the walk, and it did indeed bring me joy.

Mpekin Labyrinth 3

Here’s to Joy in your life, whatever brings it. Sometimes we have to go out and seek it. It’s worth the extra effort. Joy has a lot of gifts for us in its pockets.

The Gate of the Year

Monday, January 7th, 2013 | Labyrinth Walks, The Writing Life | No Comments

Published on the New Year in 2011…I love it, so I included it here again…

My Facebook friend, Glenne, sent me this poem. I loved it so much that I wanted to include it here, along with her introduction.

 

Labyrinth Chartres

This poem is written on the George VI and Queen Elizabeth Memorial in Windsor Castle, because the King read it as part of his speech in 1939, at the beginning of WWII.
Still relevant I think, especially re: walking the labyrinth.

“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

And he replied, ‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’

So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.

So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention.”

Walking the Labyrinth

Friday, December 30th, 2011 | Labyrinth Walks | 2 Comments

“But you who were born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart

And if you listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them [speak] in silence…”

Kahlil Gibran, THE PROPHET

What do we seek, when we step onto the spiral path? A blessing sometimes, or an answer to a question. Sometimes we simply seek a moment of peace, a moment out of time, outside the busy aspects of our lives when we can reflect in silence and find a moment to ourselves when no one and nothing makes demands on us.

As the New Year begins, it is a lovely time to seek the solace of the labyrinth, to examine our own souls, to ask ourselves questions as we enter the circle, to wait for their answer. Sometimes a clear answer comes, and sometimes we are greeted only by silence.

But silence is an answer too, perhaps a better answer than something more concrete, if we learn to listen to it. The silence of the labyrinth can teach us to hear ourselves better, to hear our answers when we need them. The best answers are born in silence, whether they be solutions to a problem, the path out of a challenge, or a way to make a piece of art better.

We step into the labyrinth for all these reasons, and for none of them. When we come into that sacred space and face ourselves in silence, sometimes we find answers that we were not even seeking. And that, for me, is one of the most exciting things of all. Unsought answers lead to better questions, to better work, to a better life.

Tags: ,

Gratitude and Walking the Labyrinth

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 | Gratitude, Labyrinth Walks, The Writing Life | 4 Comments

This Saturday, I had the good fortune to once again walk the labyrinth at the Church of the Servant in Wilmington, NC. I had not taken this walk since the new year. Winter and spring slipped away from me without another visit to that sacred space. But this Saturday, I managed to go.

Usually when walking the labyrinth, I hold some problem in my mind, some burden that I want to put down. But when I arrived at the church and began my walk in the old circular, spiraling pattern, I found my thoughts centered only on joy and gratitude. I am a fortunate woman with a great deal to be thankful for: family, friends, my work, my life. So I left with a profound, deepened sense of all these things, and of my gratitude for them.

I am grateful also for this online community, for the community of readers and writers that I have become a part of.  There is always a continued striving for excellence, for sales, for growing markets. But there is also, in the midst of the daily work that comes with being an author, gratitude for all I have been given. If you’re reading this, you are part of all that I am grateful for.

Serenity in the Midst of the Busy

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 | Labyrinth Walks, The Writing Life | 2 Comments

I am preparing for TO BE QUEEN to come out on April 5th, so I am writing guests posts, contacting bloggers and reviewers, and getting ready for signings. All of this makes for a lot of busy-ness. I am reminded of THE TAO OF POOH by Benjamin Hoff.

Tao.jpg

His Rabbit was always “Busy, Back Soon.” In an effort to bring my mind back to serenity and peace in the midst of work, I want to reflect on the fact that I want to be here and now, even in the midst of a book launch. I love my work, and I love working to let other people know about Eleanor. I also love feeling centered and peaceful. I wonder if both are possible at once.

To that end, here is a photo of a beautiful labyrinth in Moncks Corner, SC, a serene and beautiful place that I will go back and visit…as soon as all my work is done.

My Latest…