Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My OWN Labyrinth - Part 1

"Sure, I'm going to build my own labyrinth," I've been telling women for the last two years. Women who have already created theirs; one woman in every state, as those of you know who have been following my journey.

"So, what do you think is holding you back?" asked Mary in Iowa, as we visited at the edge of her prairie labyrinth last summer?

The mowed entrance to Mary Dreier's "Soul of the Prairie" labyrinth,
which circles through a field of prairie grasses.  It is marked by a bell,
peace pole, and stone.
 The question caught me off guard. My pat answer, "I'm just not at our Arkansas home long enough to get started, " was true enough, but was there more?  Mary's intuition seemed to think so, but it has taken me another year and the completion of my travels, to name it.

Was it that I hadn't located the spot on our five acres that "felt" right? Three tree-circled spaces looked promising. I even asked the trees, "What do you think? Would you be OK with a labyrinth in your neighborhood?" No response, which I interpreted as, "Thanks for asking, but keep looking," as if this were a game of Hide-and-Seek, and I was still "cold."

Was it that the whole project was too overwhelming? Did I lack the confidence and/or ability to begin? Yes, and yes.
I knew I wanted to build a Chartres-style labyrinth with its 11 circuits and 34 turns, but how?

Would the path be grass, gravel, mulch, or?

Would the lines be brick, rock, plants, or?

Who could help me with the math, my least favorite subject since….forever!?

But still, there was more. Like a pot of boiling water that simmers down to the last inch, I expected my answer to be at the bottom, easily fished out and served on a plate. As we know, though, answers tend to be a bit slipperier than that.

"You are not yet ready to build your labyrinth. You will know when you are," came the ambiguous voice, once I calmed the churning waters long enough to listen.

It was clear that "ready" did not mean the perfect spot, the ideal
materials, the tricky math. It meant me.

Building a labyrinth is an emotional and spiritual investment. It's a connection to an ancient design that people have walked for thousands of years, for reasons we will never fully understand. I walk them as a meditation, for calm, peace, reflection, guidance, for whatever I may need to notice. I am drawn to labyrinths built outdoors, in the earth, where my feet touch ground as I walk. There is a living connection between  us.

Until two weeks ago, I was not ready.
Now I am.
How do I know?
I just do.
That feeling you can't fully explain, but that won't go away.
Until you listen.
And act.

Or maybe the labyrinth itself is ready to be built. All I know is that I'm now laying bricks, with the support of  amazing helpers!
Please join me next week for Part 2 - "Beginning!"

Son-in-law, Ben,  along with grandsons,
Luke and Nate help me get started.

I'd appreciate your comments… How do you know when something is "right" in your life -
to move forward,
make a change,
take one path over another…
to begin?




  1. This brought tears to my eyes Twylla. It's going to be wonderful, beautiful, awesome!

  2. Just makes me smile. Saving Arkansas to the end of my small state collection so I can begin my retracing your 50 state Labyrinth with yours.

  3. Hi Kay,
    The way you constructed your labyrinth has been so helpful to me - the bricks flush with the ground, the grass path. One brick at a time it's becoming a reality! I'm really enjoying the process.

  4. Thanks, Vanda! What a lovely thought of retracing my journey, especially as you continue on your own!!


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