Under clear skies and cool breezes Paula Spaight and I walked the Regis Labyrinth. A small pile of pebbles lay under the welcome sign. Sometimes the pile is bigger, sometimes smaller which is a clue to me to look at the center slab where often many are placed by former pilgrims. I first encountered this tradition while reading a mystery novel by the step-daughter of my uncle-in-law, Rich Zieger. The book was set in the desert southwest and referenced leaving pebbles on gravesites. A clue to a Jewish tradition. A bit of research reveals a rich and varied history of leaving stones on graves. Yahoo Answers the second response by Mark S gives links that he found that explore this practice.
So, I picked up a pebble and walked with it to the center, leaving it on the stone in remembrance, and to say, “Kilroy was here.”
My practice of offering a feather to pilgrims as they walk the Laughing Labyrinth or on other walks I am involved in is similar in intent. The object is something to hold for grounding and centering. One can leave the feather or stone somewhere along the way that speaks to the walker. Or one can return the object when finished the walk. Or one can take the object (feather) home as a reminder, a grounding, a comfort.
Today’s invitation to people in the area to walk the Laughing Labyrinth on All Souls’ Day is a way to help people connect with self, ancestors, the present, and the future. May we work together to put forth peace and help those in need.