Began the morning with a quick walk through the Laughing Labyrinth doing the “egg spray patrol”! Daily rain makes it quite a chore to keep the spray on and prevent the marauding deer from enjoying the labyrinth too much.
Come by and walk or take in the Little Labyrinth on the Prairie at Indian Creek Nature Center. It’s coming into its own as summer waltzes down the path with us.
Three more labyrinths on the way to Western Iowa where Jane Shuttleworth and I plan to rock it with upper elementary and middle schoolers in “Frog Camp!”
A fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into, Ollie!
On the drive up I-380 and across north central Iowa, I suddenly had great anxiety. Puzzled, I analyzed. Wasn’t the traffic – wasn’t much. Wouldn’t be “traveling on my own – it’s only to Lakeside Laboratory to meet with people I know. Plus, I’m driving through towns and cities and cell phone connection is fine. Gee…lots of water, rivers are high…close to the road.
Bingo! Source of the anxiety. 2008 we were in Western Iowa with storms rumbling all around dropping rain after rain on sodden ground filling up rivers that swamped many Eastern Iowa towns and cities including Cedar Rapids. The group of graduate students tried to wind our way back “home” which was difficult because of roaming tornadoes to the north, closed bridges and roads to the south and east. So, the drivers stair-stepped and back tracked the caravan finally reaching Washington High School Parking Lot hours later.
Interesting how sensory experiences trigger memories both positive and negative. Takes some insight to pinpoint then connect with the energy of the memory and bring the experience to light and get emotions back in check without suppressing them.
This same theme came up this morning at Lakeside Labs as Cathleen Faubert and I visited about her amazing aroma distillation project at Lakeside laboratory. She is combing both science and art as she prepares a presentation on aromas and essential oils gathered in part right in the area. Earlier, students gathered and distilled plants to make the oils. She then demonstrated how to mix algae, sage, rose, lemongrass, marsh milkweed, hay and cedarwood oils (among others). Heart notes, bass notes and top notes are some terms we learned. Molecule density and olfactive families some of the scientific concepts. Really fascinating! I mixed marsh milkweed (bubble gum scent) with hay for fun. Then, lemon, sage and cedar for a “more serious” scent. She wants people to connect with the olfactory experience which is similar to my connecting with the visual experience of the floods of 2008. Interesting people here is understating the matter.
The other labyrinths I walked – Charles City and Mason City were the most satisfying. Well sited. Maintained. Classic design with paved stones. Excellent feel. Private but accessible and somewhat visible. The Clear Lake labyrinth of grasses needs to be kept in check and the Lakeshore on Okoboji labyrinth was set way back in the woods constructed of bricks lining the too narrow pathways. An eleven circuit just didn’t work in the tight space. Being set far away from sight and in a buggy woods was less than optimal experience.
To end the evening I braved “going it alone” to a drum circle. Jane Shuttleworth buzzed and told me about it. So, I programmed in the GPS to find the spot, drove through lovely fields and past wetlands to a charming Wildwood Nature Preserve. There 22 of us drummed and rattled. Avis, the leader, gave background, started us off and noted for us that after the second drumming we were really “into it.” We drummed four patterns and then I decided to leave while some light still made driving in unfamiliar territory feel ok. Interesting to me that while the first to drummings ended by speeding up and with loud bangs at the end, the last two – “waltz” and heartbeat slowed down, quieted and just slipped into a stillness as our energies subsided.
Quite a pleasing experience. So, perhaps something to try at home when I find the right group and leaders.
The day started with labyrinth walks and ended with drummings. Satisfying all around.