Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Labyrinth

One of the things I like most about writing my blog is that I learn so much about whatever I've decided to write about. Today it is labyrinths. When I begin, I never know what direction my writing is going to take. After an hour of online research and reading, I'm still not sure. I tend to want to "teach" so others may have the opportunity of knowing what I've learned when I know full well that if they are interested, they can google 'labyrinth' for themselves.

Each morning we go to the Y, I am delighted by the sight of all the lovely flowers on the north side of the street. I posted a few pictures on Facebook last year in my album "The Labyrinth in High Summer". I walked the labyrinth that day, but was more interested in taking pictures than meditating. I have been told that a former Corning woman, Ann Sullivan Coulter, is largely responsible for creating this delightful area.

Part of the path with flowers and one of the birdbaths.

I am familiar with many plants and flowers, but did not know this is a hibiscus. The flower is so similar to my Rose of Sharon, I googled it to learn it is the shrub or tree form of hibiscus while this one is a bush. They are so pretty and prolific, I would plant some if I still had a lot of gardening space.

Something I always dreamed of accomplishing at Orchard Prairie was constructing my own labyrinth. It would have been east of our 'cabin' in the open area where we had the sundial. I had plenty of rocks to line the path. I didn't have the time, ambition nor money to buy, plant and care for all the flowers.

Labyrinths have been around for thousands of years. They have been found in many cultures and most religious traditions. Modern usage is to help one achieve a meditative state. As one walks the path toward the center, the turnings are supposed to help quiet the mind enabling peaceful contemplation.

I wish I had known about this labyrinth at Mile Rock Beach when we were in San Francisco. We were so close to the trail when we were at the Sutro Baths ruins, if only we'd known. I think in addition to being on the lookout for 'Blue Pools' on our road trips, I'm going to start watching for labyrinths I can walk.

If you ask a question at the entrance to the labyrinth, contemplate the problem as the path is walked, by the time you reach the center, you should have an answer. Then, as you retrace your steps to exit, you can meditate on how to integrate what you've learned into your daily life.

The question here is: "Will I ever walk this labyrinth on the west coast of Scotland?" It would be so easy to contemplate my Scottish ancestry here at Dunure Castle Ruins and Labyrinth on the Ayrshire Coast.

In the meantime, I have a beautiful labyrinth right here in Creston which I may walk anytime I choose.

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