“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 17/40, The Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth Courtyard/Presbyterian Hospital – Charlotte:
This is my first visit here since Lent 2014. I don’t know why, but I just don’t make the trip. It is really a lovely labyrinth for a Sunday morning …
There is an information niche near the entrance with some very good information boards. These answer a few of my questions. They also have two brochures which I’ve taken with me.
As I look around the garden, I notice what appears to be a large art installation with color boxes and circles, I need to research this. I see there is one of those bar codes. I scan it and this is what it leads me to Novant Healthcare’s Hospice Website.
The courtyard is an internal courtyard at Presbyterian Hospital. It is outdoors, but protected. Currently, there’s very little sunlight that reaches the floor. Some light touches some plants and the upper part has sunshine.
But initially, the sunshine does not come all the way down into the courtyard. Let me change that, it barely comes down. I see some shadows on the actual labyrinth.
Prior to my walk, I sit on a concrete bench what is noticeably cold.
There are several other labyrinths in Charlotte that are painted concrete. The McCrorey Y is one, as is Myers Park Baptist Church . As with the others, this one is a full Chartres design. I quickly look to see if this one is a correct copy. This one is different from Myers Park Baptist, it has the correct number of rosettes in the center.
I also always notice how the labyrinth the set in space., This one is on a round slab of concrete, the remainder of the courtyard is scored to look like large pavers. I always want these the scoring on concrete labyrinths to line up with quadrants of the labyrinth. But they never do. Interesting, the artist here placed the center in a square box. I like that. But I want each of the quadrants to be in a separate scored region. I wonder why the artist does not do that. It challenges me: if there is some sacred geometry, it seems like the concrete scoring should share the sacred geometry.
I wonder if there is lighting from the big art installation at night as well as for the words on the prayer wall … yet also: be still for healing most likely whispers.
And now I walk.
Sounds: air conditioning and airplanes … Interspersed by silence
Sights: Shadows, light dark …
Stickers on windows above the courtyard … Snowman, Peanuts characters, Butterflies, Micky and Minnie …
A tree full of red berries … Earthy tones of the boundar paint. (And this reminds me of the T-shirt company that we saw out at the spring market with Dan and Debbie. The t-shirts are dyed with red clay.)
Feel: cool weather, sunshine in my face as sun moves lower and lower into garden.
Emotions: sadness moving to joy
My thoughts are focused on how alone I am. And that this must be a very lonely place to walk if you are here at the hospital with a loved one. I think it would be lovely if the local labyrinth community would provided guided walks daily. If ten people would volunteer 3 times per month, then an entire month would be covered. I wonder how often the labyrinth is used.
I also find my self focusing on the fact that God is not bound by time. God is not bound by anything …
After my walk, I move to the prayer wall. I leave a prayer request, something I have never done. Where else are there prayer walls. The most famous is the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, I assume.
At the prayer wall, I try to read the words. There’s one set of words, they are in gray, on top of another set of words, they are in brown. I’ll start with the brown words: joy love acceptance peace joy love acceptance peace joy love acceptance peace joy love acc … And then the gray words on top: … giving intercession compassion release thanksgiving intercession compassion release thanksgiving …
Do you see JOY?
And I walk over into the gravel sitting area to see what the last window decals are. They are funny mix. They are Elsa and the snowman, Olaf, and Spiderman. I walk up the steps so they can get a picture of that.
As a leave the hospital, I laugh at myself. I refuse to stay on the sidewalks. And walk straight across the yard. Yes, the spiritual “practice” part of my journey is over for today.