On campus today, there was a canvas labyrinth set up for anyone to walk through. Below are 5 of my meditative thoughts and reflections from walking the labyrinth. The first three are thoughts that percolated during my walk and the last two are responses to questions posed for reflection afterwards.
1. As I began walking the labyrinth, I thought of my journey through life, the way my life goals build on what’s come before. The path, like the labyrinth, isn’t a straight line, but it is continuously connected. Only I know all the bends my path has taken, and, like the labyrinth, you can’t always see the bend that’s coming up next. The path doesn’t always lead you where you think it will, but it does deliver you to where you should be.
2. On my walk there was a young woman walking the labyrinth as well. She began after me and at the point we would have met she looked around her and jumped sideways to the path she thought would lead her directly to the center. It did not. Instead of following the path, she jumped again and reached the center. After reaching the center she jumped off the labyrinth. Maybe she achieved her goal faster than I did. Maybe she didn’t have enough time. But it made me wonder about the things we miss out on because we’ve convinced ourselves to change course.
3. Along my walk I also came upon some candle wax that had been spilled along the way by another walker. I began to think about how the experience would be different at night and by the light of a sole candle. I’ve always loved candlelight. When I was a child I secretly wished for the power to go out so we could light all of the candles. It’s always just seemed magical to me somehow.
4. What words, symbols, feelings, or sounds best express what occurred? Calm. Peaceful. Tall trees and green grass. Birds chirping. Squirels scattering. The feeling of calm entering the labyrinth is interesting. I also feel as though the labyrinth should be bigger so that there is room to do a few yoga asanas when you reach the center. There's just something about the meditative nature of the labyrinth that makes me want to do yoga. The only sound in the room was the shuffle of the cuff of my pants against the canvas pathway.
5. What happened inside of me as I walked today? I stood a little straighter. I pondered a little harder. I was more aware of my breathing and the speed at which I walk. I was more comfortable with the twists and turns the journey of my life has taken. I've always believed in the idea that we are each in the right place at just the right time...and that sometimes we have no clue as to why. I know why I am where I am in this moment. And I caught just the quickest glance of where I'm going, at which point the path curved and the labyrinth reminded me that I'm not there yet and that I should focus on the steps right in front of me.