Posts Tagged ‘“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking


1.19.20 … Consecration … Purgation … Illumination … Union …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, St. James Episcopal Church -Clayton GA:

I thought about walking this labyrinth on Friday as I drove nearby on my way from Atlanta to Asheville. I’ve only walked here once before, after I attended the funeral of Ann Metzgar, the mother of a Davidson friend. As I have continued to incorporate labyrinth walks into my life routines, I often try to find one when I am going to a funeral or a wedding… it gives me 20 minutes of special time to focus on the people I love.

This morning at the women’s retreat, I overheard a conversation that referenced Saint Matthews Episcopal Church of Snellville GA. Debbie, daughter of Ann referenced above and one of my friends from my Davidson Peripatetic Posse, was the interim at that church a few years back. So I inserted myself into the conversation, and the woman who had lived in Snellville knew Debbie well and absolutely adored her. After the conversation, I texted Debbie and we exchanged texts before she led worship at her church in Durango.

And as I returned from Asheville to Atlanta, I asked my sister if she would mind letting me walk the labyrinth in Clayton at Saint James Episcopal Church. She willingly agreed.

And the weather today was absolutely gorgeous, and this labyrinth is very serendipitous. As we approached, i noticed a small pet cemetery, and the labyrinth, made of large stones, incorporates a large oak tree at the center. There were rocks, logs and the base of the tree covered in moss, and the garden around it, although almost dead this time of year, hinted of its future glory. The dead hydrangeas will be phenomenal when blooming. And today, on 20 January, there were daffodils in bloom and I swear azaleas, or some variation. Look at the picture and tell me what you think the white flowers are. And the purple blooming in the ground cover … global warming indeed …

My sister picked up on a few different things… She noted the wonderful branch screen over to the side. And we both loved the moss at the base of the huge oak tree centering the labyrinth. we laughed about what wonderful homes that tree would have made for the fairies of our childhood play.

And there is a really good information kiosk.

Consecration … Purgation … Illumination … Union … a new take. I’ll have to ponder those words.

So glad I made the quick detour. Thinking of you, Debbie Metzgar Shew!



1.18.20 … sensible shoes …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, First Baptist Church- Asheville NC:

The Grace Episcopal Women’s Retreat is fabulous … more on that later.

During our free time today, my sister and I ventured to Asheville. We went to the Folk Art Center where i noticed some beautiful wood tables and chairs and textile art. I purchased a Blenko bowl and my sister gave me a new National Parks Passport. One down … 400+ to go.

Next we went to Appalachian Ridge Cidery where we purchased some apple brandy (think Calvados), Apple sherry and hard cider (we choose dry rather than sweet).

And then we took a quick labyrinth walk in the mist/light rain at First Baptist in downtown Asheville. There was a good wind so the chimes kept us amused.

As I walked, I thought of the prayer practice of palms down to release and palms up to receive.

I pointed out the dead hydrangeas to my sister. A few years ago she painted dead hydrangeas, something I would have never thought to go. I also noted how wonderful it must be to not only create something, but to complete it.

I was definitely wearing the wrong shoes which took me back to the retreat. One of Sharon Garlough Brown’s books is entitled “Sensible Shoes.” Within this fiction book Brown creates a safe place to explore spiritual practices. The first she introduces is labyrinths.

I always enjoy the cairns that have been created in this sacred space.

Next time I’ll wear sensible shoes.



1.5.20 … Always we begin again …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, 2019-20 Christmas Walks (12th Day of Christmas):

I started my new year by going back to my home church, First Presbyterian Church of Charlottr, for the first time on a Sunday in quite a while. I arrived in time for ChristIan Formation/Sunday School. Today we had an info session on Father Greg Boyle who will give the 2020 Willard Lecture in March.

“Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest and founder of the world’s largest gang-intervention and rehabilitation program, will be deliver the next Willard Lecture on March 15, 2020. At a Jesuit parish in East Los Angeles, Father Greg served the poorest Catholic Church in the city, in the middle of the territories of numerous gangs. In 1988, Father Greg began to work with parish and community members to develop positive opportunities for youth who were involved in gangs, including a jobs program. The jobs program became an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries.

This program now offers a way out for young people stuck in a cycle of violence and incarceration.”

Worship at 11 focused on the twelfth day of Christmas and tomorrow‘s Epiphany. Merry Christmas, y’all!

And then, I walked. I returned to Avondale Presbyterian Church, the site of my first ever labyrinth walk in 2010. And I like to begin any new series of walks here. And this walk was a gift. It was a bright sunny day, the chimes rang merrily in the wind, the water ran in the fountain and the labyrinth was cool and welcoming in almost full shade with the bright green of the moss and weeds establishing new opportunities in the boundaries for 2020.



12.27.19 … “a pilgrim seeks to understand the essence of time, place and people that they meet on their path.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Epiphany Labyrinth Walks, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Wayt Private Labyrinth – Cumming GA:

Another great day at a labyrinth!

I visited my old friend Marty, her mom Martha and sister Rebecca.

We talked books and labyrinths and friends and family. I love these kith folks.

And I liked this from The Holy Pilgrimages of Northern New Mexico website.

“A pilgrimage is a journey of the body and soul. Regardless of our religion, it is an effort to become closer to our God. A pilgrimage is sometimes undertaken to pray for God’s intercession in our lives or as thanks for an intercession that has been granted. Often, though, a pilgrimage represents nothing more (or less) than our desire to let God guide our footsteps and nourish our souls. A pilgrimage should not be undertaken lightly but neither should it be undertaken in fear. It is intended to be a journey of joy and fulfillment.

A pilgrim is not a tourist who only touches, for a fleeting moment, the land and people that they visit. Rather, a pilgrim seeks to understand the essence of time, place and people that they meet on their path.”

These people and this place make it easy.



12.21.19 … “This is the night when you can trust that any direction you go, you will be walking toward the dawn.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, 2019 Advent Walks, Third Week of Advent – Joy, Saint Peter Lutheran Church-Greenwood CO, Winter Solstice 2019:

My day did not start off so well, my sister had given me a JOY brooch which in just a few days I had grown very fond of. And this morning it was missing. My 25-year-old daughter thought me silly…

But for some odd reason I must’ve taken it off and put it in my purse. I was quite sure I had not taken it off. My near 60 brain is stretched.

So with my joy pin in hand, I headed out. I picked Saint Peter’s this morning for this bright sunny day. It is amazing the effect of the sun and the beautiful mountains in the distance can have on my mood. The Rockies are truly all inspiring.

Back to the 60-year-old brain – I cannot figure out the signage and lane markings in Denver. They are just strangely different from those that I usually see on the eastern part of United States. And once again, I got turned around and the navigation app rerouted me and added about five minutes to my trip.

As I pulled in, I noticed they have a Information brochure. That is a good start.

And interesting, and I have never seen this done before, is a circular spot to stand on as you enter the labyrinth. It is similar to the center of a labyrinth.. It was a nice place to prepare.

The benches were all given as a Boy Scout Eagle Project in August 2013. There were outdoor speakers around me. I wondered what they are use them for. Also, there is a children’s playhouse over to the side. I wonder…

From the brochure, there is a sentence, “The challenge in walking a labyrinth is to let go of trying to see ahead and simply follow the path. It is a process of letting go – an element of most forms of meditation. When we relinquish control, we often feel open to new insights or new answers to questions.”

There is also a paragraph talking about the symbolism. “The labyrinth incorporates many levels of symbolism into its sacred geometry. It’s circularity and concentric circles reflect the cosmos, atoms and DNA. The geometry comprises the very principles of the manifestation of God‘s hand in the creation of the universe.” A nice thought…

When I reached the center, I laughed because there was a drain at the center. And the drain was inscribed “Saint Peter Lutheran Church September, 2010.” I’ve never seen a drain at the center. Maybe a metaphor for letting all that I have pondered be “released,” Let it go down the the drain.

I am like a kid. As I left the center drain, I walked each of the five concentric circles and I felt like I was swirling like when you flush the toilet 🙂 … goodbye negative thoughts.

This is a nine-circuit Chartres-esq Labyrinth. Frequently the abbreviated Chartres style labyrinths are seven circuits. I am wondering why this is a nine-circuit. It had unusual labyrinth timing. But in all honesty, it worked.

Today was the winter solstice. I usually do a nighttime walk today. But instead today I walked in the morning. And it was very sunny and very warm. Seemed strange but the sun was unusually low in the sky.

I ended my day with a sunset walk around Denver’s Washington Park. It was 60 degrees but the two Park lakes were still frozen. The geese were walking on the frozen lakes, and the fattest squirrels were watching us walk.

A nice way to celebrate winter.

And I really liked this from Jan Richardson today …

Here on the eve of the Winter Solstice, a blessing for you. If you are traveling through a season of shadows, or know someone who is, this is for you. (And to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, a blessed Summer Solstice!)


All throughout these months,

as the shadows

have lengthened,

this blessing has been

gathering itself,

making ready,

preparing for

this night.

It has practiced

walking in the dark,

traveling with

its eyes closed,

feeling its way

by memory,

by touch,

by the pull of the moon

even as it wanes.

So believe me

when I tell you

this blessing will

reach you,

even if you

have not light enough

to read it;

it will find you,

even though you cannot

see it coming.

You will know

the moment of its


by your release

of the breath

you have held

so long;

a loosening

of the clenching

in your hands,

of the clutch

around your heart;

a thinning

of the darkness

that had drawn itself

around you.

This blessing

does not mean

to take the night away,

but it knows

its hidden roads,

knows the resting spots

along the path,

knows what it means

to travel

in the company

of a friend.

So when

this blessing comes,

take its hand.

Get up.

Set out on the road

you cannot see.

This is the night

when you can trust

that any direction

you go,

you will be walking

toward the dawn.

—Jan Richardson

from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Image: “Longest Night” ©

I liked this one, too …

“They carol, feast, give thanks,/and dearly love their friends/ and hope for peace.”

“The Shortest Day”

by Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive.

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us – listen!

All the long echoes, sing the same delight,

This Shortest Day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And now so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.



Info on Winter Solstice …

Google Doodle Celebrates Last Winter Solstice of the Decade | Space

10 Facts About the Winter Solstice | Mental Floss


12.20.19 … “To see a world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, 2019 Advent Walks,

Palazzo Verdi -Denver Co, Third Week of Advent – Joy:

I picked this one off the locator and had no expectations…

“The large and open Atrium, showcasing three monumental artworks including Roger Leitner’s Chartres Labyrinth is a fascinating part of the grand Atrium and is a re-creation of the 13th century Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in France.”

This is the third week of Advent and the theme is joy. I have been trying to walk on Sundays and here it is Friday and I have not walked yet this week. I’ve had a busy week. I am now in Denver to celebrate Christmas with our three children. Edward is hosting in his very nice apartment. And since he knows my obsession with JOY, he has decorated his apartment with joy throughout (mostly purchased at the local Goodwill store) …

I arrived at what looked like a very nice suburban office park.

There was a large construction site next door and I saw a sign that said “Museum of Outdoor Art”

I approached the office building and saw a wonderful giraffe sculpture which reminded me of my friend Toni. I still had no idea why the labyrinth was here. And why indoor when there was a museum dedicated to outdoor art next door.

As I walked in, I saw the labyrinth. It was gorgeous, right in the atrium lobby to the building and covered with floor mats across it. Hmmmm …

I looked left and saw the Madden Museum. I had not seen anything about it on the locator. It was open and free. So before I walked, I took a quick walk through the museum. It reminded me of the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia, a re-creation of a private collection. I will research further later. But I am in love with this…

I had the concierge move the mats…

I took a moment to read the three quotes.

The William Blake one was new to me.

“To see a world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

and eternity in an hour.”

Very nice indoor walk.

Elevator Christmas music…holiday standards exclusively on tune In:

“These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”

“O, Little Town of Bethlehem”

“O Come Let Us Adore Him“


“Merry Christmas Darling …

We’re apart that’s true

But I can dream and in my dreams

I’m Christmasing with you

Holidays are joyful”

Holidays are joyful … what I heard as I walked out.

And then I snuck into the construction site for the remodeled Museum of Outdoor Art.

So all in all a joyful walk.

Holidays are joyful …



12.8.19 … “There is more to life than we previously imagined … “

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, 2019 Advent Walks, Eastminster Presbyterian Church-Marietta GA:

Today is the second Sunday of Advent and the theme is peace. I attended the 8:15 service at Roswell Presbyterian with my sister and her husband. The senior minister, Jeff Myers, gave a really great sermon where he juxtaposed tolerance and forbearance. He began the sermon with Isaiah 2:1-5, the plowshares verses.

1The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.


In days to come

the mountain of the Lord’s house

shall be established as the highest of the mountains,

and shall be raised above the hills;

all the nations shall stream to it.


Many peoples shall come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

to the house of the God of Jacob;

that he may teach us his ways

and that we may walk in his paths.”

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,

and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.


He shall judge between the nations,

and shall arbitrate for many peoples;

they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

neither shall they learn war any more.


O house of Jacob,

come, let us walk

in the light of the Lord!

And the stories that Jeff used as examples were spot on. Specifically, he told us of the rivalry between his University of Washington fraternity and the one across the street, and he began the sermon and closed the sermon with a great story of that conflict which he referred to as a tribal conflict which is typical of mankind. There was lots to ponder.

After church, I decided to make a detour to walk a labyrinth. The closest labyrinth was at Eastminster. In order to get to the memorial garden and labyrinth, I had to walk by the sanctuary. The sanctuary has clear glass windows, and I was glad that I was just a few minutes before 11 so that the congregation did not see me sneaking back to the memorial garden.

As I entered the garden, I was immediately welcomed by the sun. Although it is relatively cool, 45°, the sun made it feel much warmer..

I never noticed all the angels dispersed throughout the garden, only noting previously the angel that’s at the top the columbarium.

So I enjoyed rediscovering this quote:

“There is more to life than we previously imagined. Angels hide in every nook and cranny, magi masquerade as everyday people, and shepherds wear the garments of day laborers. The whole earth is brimming with glory for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.”

– Howard Thurman

Peace …


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