5.28.13 … walk with me …

I had the great pleasure of leading an FPC Charlotte group on a labyrinth walk and teaching them about such walks.  In connection with my guiding them, I drafted “My History,”  and here it is …

My History

From Barbara Brown Taylor’s  The Alter to the World and leading into her section on labyrinths is this: “When  someone asks us where we want to be in our lives, the last thing that occurs to us is to look down at our feet and say, “Here, I guess, since this is where I am.”

To be able to answer that question with that answer is what the labyrinth does for me.

Approximately three years ago a long time friend Mary  asked me to walk a labyrinth with her, this labyrinth here at Avondale. It had an immediate effect on me, and I began to research and walk other labyrinths locally. Within six months, I would describe myself as a “hooked” and possibly an addict.  During July 2011, I even dragged my family on a three-hour detour across France to see Chartres‘ labyrinth.

The following spring and approximately a year later, in a continuing effort to find peace and add meaning to my life, I walked a canvas labyrinth, one which is only set up on holy days etc. This labyrinth is at Myers Park Methodist Church. After walking it, I went to my friend Mary’s Ash Wednesday Service,  and she asked the worshippers not to give up something, but to take up a practice. I signed a purple card and put it in the collection plate.  My card stated that I would attempt to walk a labyrinth daily during Lent. That  was Ash Wednesday,  the first day of Lent 2012.

And I did, I walked almost every day. And absolutely found it refreshing, relaxing, focusing and well worth my time.

During my 2012 Lenten Walks I found a flyer here at Avondale, announcing a 2-day presentation by Lauren Artress : “The Healing Labyrinth: Addressing the Spiritual Hunger of Our Time” Lecture & Book Signing and “Nourishing our Spiritual Lives” Labyrinth Workshop.  I signed up.  These lectures gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts into words and universalize my year-long experiences.  Reading Lauren Artress’ Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool  and hearing her speak and experiencing her with others, including my sister and someone I now consider my labyrinth friend, was worth every minute of my time and money.  I would attend again n a heartbeat.

After Lent and the Artress weekend, I quickly realized that I missed my walks, and so I continued to walk.

I probably walk a labyrinth every week to 10 days. I have found that when I travel, I seek them out.   I have walked labyrinths in Miami FL, Atlanta GA, the Berkshires MA, Washington DC, Boston MA, Louisville KY and Boulder CO.

When I came to Lent this year, I made the same decision: I would walk labyrinths daily, if possible.  I came away with the same conclusion …my 2013 Lenten Walks, like my 2012 Lenten Walks, were worth every minute of my time and grounded me spiritually.

I continue to walk every week to 10 days.  I also walk when I am troubled or anxious or happy or joyful.  It takes me 20 minutes, and I almost always come away resolved.  As St Augustine says, “solvitur ambulando: it is solved by walking.

Here are a few pics …

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