What does walking the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth daily do? For one, it gets me outside. Rain, snow, or shine. Chill, frigid, or warm. Windy, breezy, or calm. Noisy with traffic or quiet. Postholing through deep snow, skittering along the ice-covered path, treading on rain-soaked soil or pounding on pavement like rain-starved ground. Winter’s pre-dawn dark or spring’s bright sun. The lingering aroma of Virginia Mountain Mint crushed between fingers and still pungent in January or the fresh scent of tenderly brushed, newly emerged leaves of May. The taste of chives popped up through the mulch. So,
reawakening the senses is part of the experience.
Too, is the opportunity to observe thoughts. What am I busy thinking about? Am I calm? Worried? Angry? Playful? And, how do I wish to be with these thoughts? So, the discipline of pausing at the entry and choosing to come from a place of gratitude has become key. Above all, a place of Gratitude helps change the focus and my demeanor for the day. Or at least part of it.
When I away, I also walk a labyrinth. Either a physical one or a small cloth one created by Deb M. or by simply tracing the three-circuit pattern on my hands. Both hands. Good discipline and hand-eye coordination.
I started this daily walk in late December 2017 when Rich and I were experiencing extended family situations. I continued through the weeks he was East with his family. Each pre-dawn, I’d pull on wind pants, extra socks, heavy coat, my “Fudd” hat, mittens and pack boots and schlepp to the road for the newspaper, return to the entry to the labyrinth and walk. Then, I’d open up the chicken coop where the hens still roosted cozily under the heat lamp. At that hour they were rarely enticed to fly down and peck at the corn I tossed out. All through the winter and into the early, cold spring I walked.
Now in my second third of the year, I am taking in the growth and fullness as warmth returns – except for this year’s Three Cold King days. Wow! I wondered, “Where are my long socks, wool hat, and extra flannel?”
I regard where I need to dig up and move plants, note where the path will get too narrow and will need cutting back as grasses and forbs grow, and delight in, “Oh! I forgot about that sweet plant! How nice to see you again.” May through mid-August sees a riot of color, textures, plant heights and prairie smells. The walk will be different in the sunlight and fullness of the season.
We shall see what this time of walking brings. Where I will find other labyrinths to walk. And, come fall, ….it will come on its own accord.