Usually, when people talk about walking around in circles, they mean they’re not getting anywhere. Remember the Winnie the Pooh story, where Piglet and Pooh traipse round and round a little copse of woods in search of Woozles, only to have Christopher Robin point out that the prints they were so fearfully tracking were actually their own?
Unlike Pooh and Piglet, visitors to our Welcome Garden walk around in circles quite intentionally — pacing around our stone labyrinth in a kinetic prayer, a deliberate slowing, a meditative journey. There’s something about winding along the twisting circuits that calms the mind and restores the spirit.
A book I’m reading, Labyrinths from the Outside In: Walking to Spiritual Insight, by the Revs. Donna Schaper and Carole Ann Camp, offers up a spiritual perspective on the ancient practice of walking a labyrinth. “Many of us live life walking in circles without much intention,” they write. “We feel a little caught, trapped, encumbered: we make our next move because somebody else or some other thing mades its move.” But walking a labyrinth is different: “Here we walk in a circle with much intention. We let the circle guide us as we guide our feet. We un-know. We untangle. We twist and turn toward peace, away from powerlessness.”
Think about walking the labyrinth as “the spiritual acknowledgment of life’s ups and downs, ins and outs,” they say, and recognize what the labyrinth shows us: “that in every end there is a beginning.”
See you in the garden! –KC