The morning was crisp and the sunshine bright. We talked for a few minutes in the car before walking to the path. We paused to read the sign to introduce Renee to the history of the labyrinth. Before we started the walk, we agreed that we would walk at our own pace, and meet in the middle. Renee had the great idea to sit on the ground in the middle of the labyrinth with our backs touching. This way we could have our own space, but still feel connected to one another.
In the car Renee shared that her daughter was traveling abroad and having a profound, life-changing experience, so that was what we were focusing on as we took our walk. I was there to guide her through the experience for the first time and to hold space for her as she thought about her daughter's experience a continent away.
Walking the labyrinth with others always reminds me that my default walking speed is fast. I have to be really mindful about slowing down, breathing, and allowing space between us. I was restless as I walked. My thoughts were bouncing around everywhere. I couldn't seem to get my breathing, thoughts, and walking to sync up. I worked on not judging this and kept walking.
Sitting back-to-back, I directed my focus to the giant tree ahead of me. In this space, leaning against my dear friend is where I achieved a sense of peace and calm. I took in the deep blue of the sky and marveled at the way the autumnal sun makes the world glimmer.
I thought about Renee. I prayed that she was having a positive experience. I prayed for her daughter. I thought about how we come from different religious faiths, and how grateful I was that she was open to this spiritual practice of mine.
After a time, I was ready to begin winding my way out of the labyrinth. Since I was walking ahead this time, I felt less pressure that I would be walking too fast. The restlessness I felt was gone. Peace and calm had washed over me.
Renee and I met at the bench afterwards. We sat in silence for awhile and then we began sharing our experiences. I needed the girl talk and especially from a sister-friend who is further along in years and experience. She helped me untangle some of the questions weighing on me about motherhood and life in general.
I am so grateful for the labyrinth in my life. I love how each visit is so unique and teaches me new things or reflects back to me the things I'm working through at the time.
There are a few other labyrinths in the city I have not yet visited, and Renee said she would go with me. I look forward to adding those trips to my spring calendar.