Archive for February, 2019

23
Feb
19

2.23.19 … “The duality of the labyrinth–connecting the physical act of walking with the inner, spiritual passages–resonates with the duality of public ceremonies.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary- Louisville KY:

I’m here today for my niece’s wedding. I thought about Hunter and Eric today as I walked. I actually researched the concept of using the labyrinth as a venue for a wedding. I found this:

The duality of the labyrinth–connecting the physical act of walking with the inner, spiritual passages–resonates with the duality of public ceremonies.

A wedding is often called a “public affirmation of a private commitment.” Walking the labyrinth in a ceremony can connect you both to the community of friends–who can witness and acknowledge the event from the perimeter of the circle–and to the larger community of humankind across cultures and generations. For thousands of years, labyrinths have been interwoven into rituals in cultures from Europe to Asia to South and North America.

Source: https://www.beliefnet.com/love-family/relationships/weddings/walking-the-wedding-labyrinth.aspx#MoCIxevwzlQEVvZQ.99

So I thought about this concept of a wedding. And although the wedding will not take place on a labyrinth, but at the nearby Chapel on the seminary’s campus, I am here to witness this public affirmation as a part of my niece’s community in a ritual that crosses cultures and generations.

My walk took place at about 1. The family has been watching the weather all week as the reception is at a venue on River Road, right next to the Ohio River. They have had massive rains and flooding for the last 10 days.

So when I approached the labyrinth I realized how muddy and brown everything is. I saw dead leaves, sticks and debris, almost as if they had been swirling water.

Instead of looking down I looked up and noticed two new trees planted at the entrance. And my spirits were lifted by a chorus from the birds nearby, and they were chirping wildly.

It was a quick walk. I noticed some new trees, new benches and new bushes. The boxwoods around the edge are growing out of their perfectly round shape.

And as I reenteredd the here and now, I realized that size matters. Although this is a traditional 11th circuit Chartres pattern, it is larger than any that I regularly walk. I found my timing was off and that I pushed myself, almost ran, to keep my normal pace. I am going to have to be more intentional about my next walk here to enjoy this labyrinth’s timing. It’s not all about me. I need to be willing to change.

I pondered my interconnectedness with my niece Hunter and the groom Eric and the Teague family and the many friends and family that I have known and loved for the over 40 years of my being part of this family. And today we are adding Eric and his family to the circle and the interconnected walk we share within the circle. The thought that our circle has expanded and we can now hope to share the walk for another generation.

Blessings!

2.23.19

06
Feb
19

2.6.19 … “Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.” – St. Augustine

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Myers Park Methodist Church – Charlotte NC:

Today, I walked with Toni my friend whom I met through the labyrinth community. She recently had a heart issue and can’t drive for a week. I wanted to get her out and walk a labyrinth and share some time and space with her.

Although I had planned to take her to breakfast and walk one of our favorites, the Morning Star Lutheran Chapel Labyrinth, she suggested that we attempt to walk the recently installed Myers Park Methodist indoor labyrinth. This labyrinth is an exciting new addition to our labyrinth community. A member of MPUMC’s congregation has donated a beautiful organ, and it is going to be placed in the Francis Chapel. And in connection with preparing the chapel for the organ, a decision was made to place a permanent indoor labyrinth, a stone labyrinth of seven circuits based on the Chartres eleven-circuit medieval pattern.

Most years Myers Park places a canvas labyrinth during certain holy days in this chapel. As a matter fact such a canvas labyrinth placed in this chapel is a part of my story of labyrinth walking during Lent. At the end of this summary, I have put my updated story…

But as for today’s walk, Toni and I were thrilled to find that the chapel was open and no one stopped us from walking. There were several workers in the chapel preparing for the installation of the organ. When we walked in the workers’ cart was sitting in the middle of the labyrinth.

After asking if we could move it, and I felt like I was moving the chairs from Chartres, we begin our walk. I felt giddy, and I think Toni did as well. The two workers there were initially quiet but every once in a while we would hear a hammer or a saw, but it did not distract from the wonder and privilege of walking here now.

And in the brochure I found a new St. Augustine quote:

Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.

We were pilgrims on an inaugural walk ..

2.6.19

From My Labyrinth Story:

Approximately 2011, eight years ago, Mary Bowman asked me to walk a labyrinth with her. We walked this labyrinth 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 an aficionado and possibly an addict. The following spring in a continuing effort to add meaning to live in my life, I walked one of the temporary labyrinths which is only set up on holy days etc. This one was at Myers Park Methodist Church. After walking it, I went to Mary’s service on Ash Wednesday and Imposition of Ashes Service, a first for me in a Presbyterian Church. Mary asked me not to give up something but to take up a practice. I signed a purple card and put it in the collection plate saying that I would attempt to walk a labyrinth daily during Lent. This was 2012.

And I did, I walked almost every day over the Lenten Season. And I absolutely found it refreshing, relaxing, focusing and well worth my time. After Lent, I would miss it, and I probably walked a labyrinth every week to 10 days. I also found that when I traveled, I would seek out labyrinths. I walked labyrinths in Miami FL, Atlanta GA, the Berkshires, Washington DC, Boston MA, Louisville KY and Boulder CO.

When I came to Lent the next year and each subsequent year, I have made the same decision. I am very fortunate there are at least eight labyrinths within 40 minutes from my South Park home. So pretty much no matter what direction I am heading, I can find one and take 20 minutes. And each year at the end of Lent on Easter morning I feel renewed, refreshed and ready to set out for the rest of the Christian year. That is what it does for me. It focuses me.




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