Posts Tagged ‘2013 Labyrinth Walks

05
Dec
13

12.5.13 … I walk barefoot … “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.” …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Labyrinth Walks,  Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church – Atlanta GA, kith/kin:

So I recently saw a reference to this labyrinth … It is a new labyrinth for me.  Before I leave Lenbrook, I noticed with sadness, the old oak tree on Peachtree by the entrance.  Today is its last day.
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After saying my last respects, I headed that out and hit the Starbucks.  It had a drive thru window, but the line was so long that I had to go in. I find it amazing but that the service inside is always so slow in comparison to the drive-through line. Starbucks really makes its money off of it ambience, but when it offers a drive-through option, the interior service fails.
So next I head out … Just by chance, I drove by the over-the-top Chastain yard with deflated Christmas blowups.  It brings a smile to my face.  I’ll come back by tonight.
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I saw  several yard signs for my high school and Davidson classmate who just won an at large seat on Atlanta’s school Board.  Congratulations to Cynthia Briscoe Brown!!  I wonder … Where are all the middle schools? Where all the high schools? Where are all the elementary schools? Atlanta is a very interesting contrast to Charlotte.
Upon some searching,  I found this on the HI website.

Some 600 years before Christ the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu wrote, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ A more correct translation from the original Chinese might be ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.’  Have you ever walked the labyrinth? It is, whether found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France or drawn in chalk in a parking lot or like the one we have painted on a canvas, a metaphor for our life’s sacred journey. A labyrinth is a pint-sized pilgrimage.

I like the labyrinth because it requires no particular skill set.  Nothing really to prepare, just a willingness to begin, to start, to enter.  Not much risk there. It’s just walking after all, following a path drawn by another. Yet, in agreeing to walk this ancient path, I find a mirror for my life, touching on deep sorrow and releasing great joy.

Long ago in a desert land 2 people got new names because they were willing to walk a path with God, whatever that might bring. Their names change as the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Becoming Abraham and Sarah was an atonement or at-one-ment with God. The sign of the covenant with God was their name change.

Long ago in another place, different folks were asked to follow the path of God. This way of following also offered at-one-ment with God. It was a different promise, with a different sign, and one they did not expect … take up the cross and follow.

On the labyrinth journey through the soles of our feet we remember emotions, guilt, and shame and we remember God’s invitation to be our God.  In our life journey with God we are invited to let go of what we know, of what we have been, and to become more of who we are created to be.

via Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church | March 4 – 2nd Sunday in Lent (9).

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For my morning labyrinth walk, the weather was foggy, muggy and WARM.  It was already in the high 60s by 8:30 am.
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This labyrinth is part of the church’s memorial garden it’s a lovely garden which has a fire pit and then a beautiful fountain and some modern art as well.
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I feel a wee bit of disappointment as I approach because I realize that it is a 7-circuit Chartres style labyrinth rather than the full 11-circuit.
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I would love to tell people that a labyrinth works much better if it is a full 11-circuit.  I realize that the 11-circuit  takes  more space.  But at this location, there is enough space;  so I wish they had not  cut it short. A labyrinth is much more than a landscaping installation,  it as a spiritual tool. However, I still applaud any church’s effort to install one.
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So i walk.  At the center, I realize that not only is it not cold, it is downright warm today, so warm that I take my shoes off to walk out.  The ground is not even cool … just a little damp from the morning’s rain.
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30
Nov
13

11.30.13 … “child of God” … Politically correct or truly religiously sound? …

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“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Labyrinth Walks, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary,  Louisville KY, kith/kin:

Today was pretty cold, 28°.  On the drive to the Presbyterian Seminary, I drove by Cheryl’s Baptist Seminary.  I also saw three, rather brazen,  deer.
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I am very fond of this labyrinth … As I approached the labyrinth, it was covered in a heavy frost.  The sun was streaming through the trees.  I immediately realized that my footsteps did not melt the frost.
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I never know where my mind will take me.  This is meditation in motion.  So today my thoughts while walking range from politics to religion. I think about Edward’s campaign … Rent a house for unpaid college volunteers … And what it means to declare that I am a “child of God” … Politically correct or truly religiously sound? Hmmmm ….
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08
Nov
13

11.8.13 … ahhhhh, be serene …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Labyrinth Walks, Serenbe Community, Chattahoochee Hills GA, kith/kin, Driving Mamma Lindsey, The Hil, The Inn at Serenbe, Mary Mac’s Tearoom:

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I visited here for the first time in August. I knew I’d be returning.
This time I not only brought my mom, but I also brought my sister.
We first did the drive through the various “villages”…

It is a national model for the future of balanced development in the U.S.— focusing on land preservation, agriculture, energy efficiency, green building, walkability, high density building, arts and culture, and community living for multiple generations. With a projected 70% of future building occurring in the greenfield, Serenbe demonstrates how urban development models can succeed on the edge of a metropolis while preserving a vast majority of the greenspace. Serenbe’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate how development can accommodate the need for housing with minimal impact on nature—Serenbe’s land plan call for a preservation of at least 70% of the acreage, while accommodating as many or more people as traditional subdivision-style development, which would disturb nearly 80%.

Serenbe was the first hamlet built in Chattahoochee Hills, a 40,000 acre city with an overlay plan that calls for preservation of a minimum of 70% of the acreage. Serenbe’s founders, Steve & Marie Nygren and Rawson Haverty, have created an urban model promoting walkability and community living, with private residential homes (currently, approximately 170 residents), commercial space, art galleries, original shops, stables, and a 20-room inn with conference facilities. Serenbe has devoted 30 acres to farming—the Serenbe Farm is certified organic and biodynamic with a thriving CSA program and Saturday markets. The community is home to three thriving restaurants—Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop (the nation’s smallest Silver LEED certified building), The Farmhouse (which has received national critical acclaim in Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and is consistently featured in local publications), and The Hil (owned by executive chef Hilary White, and has received national critical acclaim in Food and Wine magazine, and was named a Best New Restaurant by Atlanta Magazine and the Atlanta Journal Constitution).

via Serenbe Community.

 … and then proceeded to The Hil for lunch.  Lunch was perfect.  My sister and I shared our two items, mine a burger with pimento cheese and hers a crabcake fritter sandwich.  Both were excellent.  My mom enjoyed brocolli cheese soup and gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, also excellent.
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After lunch, we drove back toward the Inn and stopped by the labyrinth.  Although the setting is wonderful and it is a full 11-circuit Chartres, it is the Stonehenge of labyrinths.  it is way too large!! And because it is so large, the timing is all wrong.  The sacred geometry does not work, it is not sacred when the scale is wrong.  It is merely fun.
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Our last stop was to the Inn.   We walked in seeking info about the Inn’s Thanksgiving Day menu and availability.  The pastry chef was wonderfully attentive to every question.
As I walked out, I noticed that a cookbook from mary mac’s tearoom was for sale and the only cookbook for sale. Mary mac’s is a family favorite and my sister was actually eating dinner there that night.  I asked the connection.  I should have known that …

At Serenbe, we believe in the power of food.  Families bond over meals, friends are made, and true communities are formed. Serenbe founders Steve & Marie Nygren have a long history with food—Steve as a restaurateur and founder of the successful Peasant Restaurant Group; Marie as the daughter of Margaret Lupo, owner and chef of Atlanta’s famed Mary Mac’s Tea Room—and they knew that culinary arts should be at the heart of all that Serenbe has to offer. Thus, Serenbe has become a dining destination featuring authentic restaurants and some of the best talent in the South.

via Restaurants at Serenbe.

Blessings!
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27
Oct
13

10.27.13 … “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” …

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Crossnore School Labyrinth, Crossnore NC, 2013 Labyrinth Walks:

Wow this is the quirkiest labyrinth ever!  But I loved it …

After entering the garden I noticed the butterfly bench and the rabbit pointing the way.

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And on the dedication marker, a great quote …

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

― John Muir

It has what looks like church windows setup at one side.  They are made of wrought iron.

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Through the “window” view reveals a fun sculpture of children and a dog walking across a large log.

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There are multiple water features around the labyrinth and one in the center, in addition to the small stream that goes under the log sculpture and feeds under the labyrinth and which you can hear while walking the labyrinth.

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The barriers of each quadrant are actually large planters.  I have never seen this done before and I really like it.

Because it is fall, the labyrinth is covered with leaves, and as I walk, I hear the rustling of the leaves.

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There are 4 benches, one on the perimeter of each quadrant. The bench closest to the entrance has my favorite quote: “Be still and know that I am God.“ Psalm 46:10

I notice that on the bench on the opposite side there is another quote that is often found at labyrinths: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105

I look around for the 3rd bench.  It has the quote: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

And on the fourth bench … Deuteronomy 30:16: “Love the Lord your God. Walk in his ways. And keep his commandments.”

When the labyrinth path takes you between the barrier planters, it feels playful …

On the periphery is also a small outdoor fireplace.  It would be great fun to walk on a cool evening with a fire burning.

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I would love to see this labyrinth when the garden is in full glory but it is still a wonderful experience in the fall.

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And this is a great post about the Crossnore labyrinth and walking labyrinths in general.

At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.

via Life in the Carolina Mountains: Crossnore Labyrinth.

26
Oct
13

10.26.13 …”Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:2) …

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Bristol VA, 2013 Labyrinth Walks, Amiens Style labyrinth, 2013 Davidson ’82 Reunion Group Gathering (Wasabies):

I gathered with my group of 16 who we for a quirky reason call ourselves the WASABIES.
I of course found a local labyrinth in downtown Bristol Virginia. It isn’t a Chartres style labyrinth but an Amiens style labyrinth, and  I have never walked this style.
I chuckled when I went to EEC’s website because it showed a picture of a priest blessing a dog on the labyrinth … but that is another conversation  🙂 …

Welcome to Emmanuel Episcopal Church

We are located in downtown Bristol, Va, just one block from the Virginia-Tennessee state line, and have been serving our community since 1862. We would love for you to tour our beautiful church, walk our Labyrinth, and join us for worship on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2)

via Welcome to Emmanuel Episcopal Church | Emmanuel Episcopal Church | Bristol, VA / TN.

Outside, a labyrinth taking its design from the famous one at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, in Amiens, France, is available for use by anyone in the community who wishes to pray and meditate while walking in it.

via News.

So here is my labyrinth adventure … After a wonderful walk with my friends along the river, we headed to Emmanuel Episcopal Church in  downtown Bristol
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About five of us walked the labyrinth. For several, it was a new experience. I shared my labyrinth walking experience with them and then we walked as a group.
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It was really a peaceful experience.
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As I have mentioned my favorite labyrinth to walk is the full 11 circuit Chartres style labyrinth.
The Amiens style works very well as well.  It is amazing that the medieval french catholic priests constructed labyrinths that work much better than modern artsy labyrinths. I wonder why that is so. It clearly has something to do with “sacred geometry” which includes a timing element which makes it just right.
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Blessings!
And here is a little history on the Amiens style labyrinth …

The Labyrinth of Amiens Cathedral is the second largest in France, being slightly smaller than its cousin in Chartres.[3]  Measuring about 12.1 meters wide, the labyrinth occupies the entire width of the fourth and fifth bays of the nave, and is thought to have originally been placed in the cathedral in 1288.[4]  Although it is octagonal, its tracks follow the same pattern as Chartres, which is why it is considered to be an Octagonal, Chartres-type labyrinth.[5] Comprised of “white-and-blue-black” stones, its entrance opens to the west, with the white stones acting as the labyrinthine obstacles.

Prior to the French Revolution, the labyrinth’s center comprised of a medallion which stated:

In the year of grace 1220, the construction of this church first began.  Blessed Evrard was at that time bishop of the diocese.  The king of France was then Louis the son of Philip the wise.  He who directed the work was called Master Robert, surnamed Luzarches.  Master Thomas de Cormont came after him, and after him his son Renaud, who had placed here this inscription in the year of the incarnation, 1288.[6]

via labyrinth of amiens cathedral: Loyola University Chicago.

25
Oct
13

10.25.13 … All Shall Be Well …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Labyrinth Walks, kith/kin, Downtown Abingdon VA:

 As I entered the mountains of VA, it became cloudy, very cloudy.  So this fall day had a damp wintry feel to it.

With my gps running, I was looking hard for the labyrinth.  It was a private labyrinth so I was not looking for a church or a park.  But finally I spied it on a vacant lot  on a residential street.

It is Chartres labyrinth made of all pavers with no space for grass to peek through, very attractive,  accessible and nicely landscaped.

I was meeting a friend who was joining me for a girl gathering in Bristol TN for the weekend.  There are only a few I share my walking idiosyncrasy  and each of these 16 women are victims.  The one who met me for my pre-gathering walk was a willing victim.  🙂

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Several of you have asked how I find  labyrinths to walk.

First I look them up on the world-wide labyrinth locator …

Valley Street NE, between Court St. and Tanner

Abingdon, Virginia 24210

“All Shall Be Well….” a labyrinth and meditation space on private property, open to all.

Schedule:Always open

Type:Medieval Chartres replica

Material:Brick/PaverDesigner:The Labyrinth Company

Builder:Simlay Natural, Inc.

Size:39 feet diameter

Date installed:October 2010

via World-Wide Labyrinth Locator – Locate a Labyrinth.

If there are several in an area, I will google them to help me select.  This one had a nice article about it in the local paper …

The light brown bricks meander back and forth for three-quarters of a mile, said Jan Hurt, owner of the labyrinth.

It’s hard to imagine the path is that long, as it winds through a 40-foot-wide round, brick patio-like structure on the lot across from her Valley Street home, but that’s part of the beauty of it.

The purpose of walking it is not to reach a physical destination, but a spiritual one.

“We want people to walk it,” said Hurt, who explained that although the labyrinth is privately owned and on private land, it’s open to the public at all times. “That’s why we built it.”

A 91 percent scale replica of a labyrinth on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France, it is entitled All Shall Be Well.

“Ninety-one is some sort of mystical geometric number,” explained Hurt, who described the intricate pattern as “compulsive geometry.”

“What I don’t know is how anyone can draw this and come up with this pattern,” she marveled, as she began to walk a section of it, following the brick pattern up and back and around.

It’s one of three labyrinths that now exist in Abingdon, said Garrett Jackson, the town’s planning director. The others are on the grounds of Christ the King Catholic Church and Virginia Highlands Community College.

via Walking in Abingdon to reach spiritual destination – TriCities.com: News.

22
Sep
13

9.22.13 … balance and imbalance …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013  labyrinth walks,  Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, Romare Bearden Park, Panthers:

I received a lovely invitation from fellow walker Cheryl at MPBC:
This coming Sunday, September 22, is the Autumn Equinox, a day when a near-equal amount of light and darkness engulfs the Northern Hemisphere.
 
What a perfect time to take a walk through the Labyrinth!
 
If you are interested in participating in a light lunch followed by a “balanced walk” please plan on meeting me after worship in the Conference Room.
I put it on my calendar.
I attended worship first … a bit of a downer; the interim pastor focused on the Parable of the Dishonest/Unjust/Shrewd Manager, wickedness,  and the theology of Reinhold Niebuhr.
However, it was an absolutely glorious Autumn day!
I am definitely feeling out of balance before I walk.  I can’t find the group.  I see several people who I would love to spend some time with catching up, but there is no time.  I finally find the group, and there are only 3.
Cheryl has prepared booklets for our balanced walk.  I love quotes, so this is a nice surprise.
I immediately notice that the labyrinth at midday is 1/2 shade and  1/2 sun.  Perfect balance.
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We all walk shoeless.  Lovely walk … I hear the cicadas and crickets and see ants on the labyrinth.
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And I enjoyed this Keats’ poem celebrating Fall …

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

via To Autumn- Poets.org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More.

After the labyrinth walk, I headed downtown/uptown to the Panthers’ game.  I walked through the new Romare Bearden Park.  What a great addition to Charlotte!!

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Panthers v. Giants, 38-0 … Very unbalanced game. I think they call that a blowout!!   🙂




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