Last Friday, I had a rather upsetting day- events that have no bearing to this blog, but still… I was upset. Very upset. I dropped Ray off at soccer practice and I took Bailey for a walk around the field. I was walking to burn off steam; I was walking to process, and I was walking so that I would not sink into a morass of depression and anxiety.
Ray’s soccer field is a new one, and it’s a bit in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by scrub palms and live oaks, it’s a reclaimed bit of marsh land that while environmentally I’m sorry to see it built, as a soccer mom, it makes for a really lovely field. I hadn’t really gone off the pitch before, and I realized as I headed out into the underbrush, I really didn’t know where I was going. But that was all right- I really didn’t know where I was going in all senses of the word.
I was following a trail- and feeling the peace of the woods begin to sink into me. A random blue jay would call, a woodpecker was hammering above me, and in the background I could hear the muffled shouts of the boys kicking the ball and the lower tones of the adults coaching them. I was upset, but I was finding solace.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…” Thoreau
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep…” Frost
And magic happened. Magic that doesn’t often exist in Southeastern Georgia. Magic that is old and deep and rooted. I came upon a labyrinth built into the woods. A small labyrinth, to be sure, but … A labyrinth. Just off the soccer fields.
As stated in Lessons4Living.com,
We are all on the path… exactly where we need to be. The labyrinth is a model of that path.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to “That Which Is Within”.
A labyrinth with a little sign that said that it was planted and maintained by the Sea Island Ladies Garden Club. Thank you, ladies…
Bailey and I walked the labyrinth, and I was struck at how much I needed to remember that life may turn and that life may double back on itself, but that I will always come back to where I need to be.
And just as I finished, I heard the subtle distant noise shift made when the practice was over and the boys were breaking up into social language, rather than sports talk, and I headed back to my life.
As a friend of mine said “That was no accident”… and indeed, it wasn’t. I hope that everyone finds a labyrinth in the woods just when they need one.