Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Walking the Labyrinth Alone

Last night, I walked the Labyrinth alone. I was running early for a 7:30 poetry reading at Broward College, which is just across the street from my church, so I decided to walk the Labyrinth. In the past year, I've either walked it as part of a group, or walked it while a group was near by. Last night, I was totally alone.

At first it felt weird. I've been reading more news stories lately about violence against women, so I've been more skittish these days. Plus, there were rain clouds rumbling across the sky.

But soon, the Labyrinth worked its magic, and I began to feel calm and centered. Then I started to notice some things. Two more tiles were broken, for one thing. I could have replaced them, but I was in my dress up clothes (coming to a poetry reading from work), so I decided not to. I came across a child's notebook in one of the spirals, a small thing the size of a playing card, with a Peter Rabbit on the cover. I picked it up, but it was waterlogged from recent rain. I put it back down. I also noticed what looked like some palms from Palm Sunday, although down here in South Florida, they could have blown in from some palm tree. But there they were, in the shape of a cross.

Once again, the Labyrinth reminds me of the value of slowing down. I've spent the last several days swamped at work; we discovered that we're losing a classroom, which has meant that I've had to rework the whole Summer schedule of classes, a job I thought I was done with months ago. Grr. But the Labyrinth reminds me of the circular nature of life; we're never really done, are we? We're just at a different place in the path.

And the Labyrinth reminds me of all the ways God winks at me during the course of a day. Often, I'm too busy or too irritable or too exhausted to notice. Happily God will keep trying to get our attention. And if we can find spiritual practices that help us to pay attention, so much the better.

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