New Year’s Eve 2011

Two different groups of Pilgrims came to the Labyrinth on New Year’s Eve.  A mild day ahead of blustery and colder weather.  How sweet that people wanted to connect and share, and chose the 1080 Laughing Labyrinth.  One pilgrim:  “Thanks for the opportunity. I will be putting into words what I was feeling…some very strong things at certain places in the journey! Mom loved the experience. Her church in Ames has an indoors one and she enjoyed this much much more!”

And, another sat for a time on Sparkly Rock and later on First Bench, then spent several minutes tucked into the Magnolia tree just resting with head against the trunk of the tree and facing up. Then, this pilgrim left quietly.  It’s about their experience. The Labyrinth and I are only the available catalysts.

Then, the reflections sent later:

“To walk under the blue sky with intention and attention at the end of the year ( a rambling tale of stream of consciousness)

“Entering the labyrinth is daunting. It is an uncertain journey. It is a relinquishing of the conscious mind. It is a confrontation of the samskara and the possibility of smoothing out those ruts.

“The trip in.

“Attention to the physical. Forks? Smell of dried sage. Pinecones. Feathers left with intention or droped by turkeys or carried by the wind? Breeze blowing the dried grasses. A mild winter allowing the green to continue under the grasses edge. Noticing the texture of the rocks. The driftwood. The pink ribbons.

“Twisting and turning. Obstacles into opportunities. A sudden urge to leap across the paths, out of turn-yelling, out of order-laughing. But wrong. Disturbs the peace. Disturbs the respect owed the site. Push on. Unsteady grass under slow moving feet. Tilt and correct. Steady the feet and the mind. What was that again? Be present? Oh yeah. Notice the path getting closer to the center. Suddenly through the last turn the path widens before entering the center. A surge of power. Awesome shared, community power coursing through the ground into my feet and core. Nearly noticeable like a low level earthquake. It stops me- literally- in my tracks. I stumble a bit. I step into the center and wrap my mind around the tree. A place of stillness and reverence. I tuck my tiny turkey breast feather in a hole in the tree trunk. Some level hoping it will keep the tree warm with its downiness.

“I take a turn about the tree and start out…reluctant to leave the altar but anxious to feel that power at the entrance again. It  does not disappoint. I feel a surge but this time it does not stop me but propels me. I step forward with purpose. As I walk and twist the paths through my physical step and in my mind, a new feeling at every direction. Introspection, acceptance, pure love, fear, courage, acceptance of mortality, respect, mother love, judgmental-ness, sadness, sense of purpose, and all lead into the next with a clear lucidity at the time. No real notice of the physical on the way out. The samskara being smoothed by the sense of purpose and intention to take the power and the coursing feelings and smooth out a path for the future. A real intention. A real path out of the labyrinth overcoming obstacles- twists and turns and making a new path of opportunity. The labyrinth allows a physical choice to jump the path or follow along an uncertain trail that may be easy but may not. To continue is to engage one’s discipline. To jump paths, is to seek least resistance in a unproductive path.

“The end. A pause. A deep breath and a sudden realization that the clarity was inside me all along. I just needed to take the time to discover it.” TGP



About marionpatterson

From the Heartland: Marion is a master educator, writer, Veriditas Trained and Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, a member of the Veriditas Council, creator and workshop promoter, and environmental educator. A Holy Fire II Usui and Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki Master Teacher, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministries Certified Practitioner (HTSM-CP), Advanced Integrated Energy Therapy practitioner she seeks to connect with others in their knowledge and spiritual quests. She leads Healing Talking Circles using the principles embraced by indigenous populations and in Restorative Justice Circles. She and her husband, Rich, co-own Winding Pathways LLC and live in Eastern Iowa. "Encouraging people to create wondrous yards." Go outside and Play!
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