Walking Opposite – Going in the Same Direction

This is a “backwards” re-telling of four labyrinth experiences in three days.  Opposite – going in the same direction.  That is forward in life.

Sometimes we seem to be opposite each other when in reality we are going the same direction.  And so, to feel opposed to another would be an easy way to go.  Introspection, compassion, and humility help one discern that only a true friend will tell us “You have spinach in your teeth.” (JH-E)

Clearing skies

Blazing Sunset

An amazing way to end several days of labyrinth walking and healing energy.  Unity Center’s prayer-a-thon pilgrims who had “stayed the course” were enthusiastic, thoughtful, open to learning, and a bit “dingy” after more than 24 hours of no sleep.  And, who would not be!  And, they had about 15 more hours to go!  Jim prepared the labyrinth with luminaries, Josh and Brenda helped set up the table, feathers, and practical items like insect repellent.  We marveled at the bats gobbling up the biting insects.  And, I was transported back to New Jersey and Cedar Lake when I heard bullfrogs croaking!  How fun!

After a short introduction to the history and types of labyrinths – which was new to the pilgrims, so here is an opportunity after I have my training in October to share more – we walked out into a balmy night – insect free!  Good going bats!  I had stated simply to be open and that not all labyrinth walks have to be “serious” and certainly not “weighty”.  Let the walk be what it is.  And, be darned if some allowed that to happen for them.  They were playful for themselves.  While others did contemplate a matter of concern.  I simply enjoyed the honor of sharing with other pilgrims, remembered some of my past walks at Unity and other labyrinths and took in the night sky, the sounds from the pond, smiled about friends and others with whom I have walked….light and of gratitude.

I was impressed with how thoughtfully we approached or passed each other.  Indeed we sometimes were approaching from opposites – going in the same direction.  Other times we walked three-by-three for several paces.  And, at other times one of us would pause to allow the other to turn a corner unimpeded. None of this was spoken.  We just did it.

Some websites that offer insights to labyrinths, history, form, meaning: Christian Symbols in the Chartres Labyrinth, and The Mystery of the Great Labyrinth, Chartres Cathedral – A Study in Comparative Religions.

Of course, there is more. But, after a long day and night of energy. Now, getting ready for some wonderful Reiki and more labyrinth walking in the 1080 Laughing Labyrinth.

Two pilgrims pass going in the same direction

Walking opposites going in the same direction

These two pilgrims above graced the 1080 Laughing Labyrinth on Saturday, stopping to connect with Sparkly Rock, the Kokopelli statue, the multitude of domestic and wild flowers and grasses that line the paths.  They passed each other, paused, exchanged greetings and observations and moved along their appointed paths.  One

First Bency

Close connections

stooping to examine something along the way.   The other resting on second bench.   Then, they joined at first bench to share quiet conversation and in silence.

Then, we four, the Moormans and Rich and I continued our gentle visit.  A lovely afternoon.

Backing up: Friday morning I had the honor of skipping along Prairie Labyrinth with Kelly Souza, who visits often with her children.  Unaided, and based on my riddle, she found, the feathers I left for D1 and D2.  Her keen eye pointed out water droplets on grasses, pollinators working mints, spider webs hanging with jewel drops of water.

Coneflower and dewdrops

Dewdrops on Spider web.

We were playful and I laughed when I realized that the shirt I had chosen to wear was my earth-toned “PLAY” shirt.  Just right to start the day and end the work week.  Prairies harvest water from the air at night and their structures enable the droplets to be held in little “cups” of the forbs or run down stalks to be “sequestered” in the root-laced soil. Prairies actually remove water from the atmosphere and store it in the porous soil where it nourishes the plants and some seeps into the aquifers.

The interplay of light on the drive to Indian Creek Nature Center was sweet.  6:00 a.m. sun on the rise with golden light slanting through the boughs and leaves of trees. Each minute the quality and color of the light changed from orange to golden to yellow to white and suddenly the burst into full daylight.  At noon the day is flooded with light but the woods lie dark and deep and still. By evening shafts of light spotlight a cluster of leaves or the happy faces of flowers or the cherries on the tree. Dimming like a masterful stage hand at the controls. Yellow to orange to mauve.  Then, just a cornflower blue dome over the black forest of trees.

Ducks loafed in quiet pools of Indian Creek. Mist hung over the valley and tinted the prairie with a mysterious and ethereal quality.

Noelle and Rattlesnake Master.

Rattlesnake Master frames Noelle’s walk.

Backing Up Again: On Thursday at high noon, Noelle Holmes met the Prairie Labyrinth for the first time. Our experience was entirely different from Friday’s.  We chatted a bit on the path in and I oriented her.  Then, separating, stating intentions, we gave each other space and silently walked into the Prairie Labyrinth.  Steadily, confidently, absorbing the sights, sounds, aromas of the open land.  We sat side-by-side on Center Stone and after many minutes, Noelle knelt and gave thanks to Mother Earth, rose and without a word, walked out.  I trailed.  Even on the path back to the car we didn’t say much…until the parking lot.  Then, conversation flowed from our highest selves with synchronistic beauty and trust.  Yet, I felt grounded. Ineffable.

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About marionpatterson

From the Heartland: Marion is a master educator, writer, Veriditas Trained and Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, 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!
This entry was posted in Black eyed Susans, Labyrinth, Magnolia Tree, Pilgrims, Prairie Labyrinth, Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Walking Opposite – Going in the Same Direction

  1. Tara Moorman says:

    Thank you Marion and Rich for sharing your “slice of Heaven” with us! We loved Laughing Labyrinth and found it to be very spiritual and relaxing. We were reminded that it is ok to slow down, we are exactly where we are meant to be. Slow down, enjoy the view. Connect with nature and each other. Blessings, Tara and Bob

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