Entrance to the labyrinth.
I have a very busy and fun Christmas this year, full of family and friends. My parents are visiting for a least a month and Alexandra is home from college and preparing to move to Los Angeles in January. I have my usual big Swedish Smorgasbord planned for Christmas Eve and a large family reunion the weekend after Christmas at my home. Whew. I’m looking forward to all the festivities but I do try to pace myself so that this time of the year is a joy and not just exhaustion.
So last week I took a morning off to celebrate Advent/Winter Solstice. A friend and I met for coffee and then headed to the local college to a secret labyrinth hidden in a corner of the woods.
This labyrinth is made of brick set into the ground and is invisible until you are practically standing on it. All bundled up to keep warm on an overcast, crisp morning, I headed into the labyrinth. The path was narrow and sometimes hard to see with the matted grass and leaves which matched the brick. I slowly wound my way in, back out, back in, around, out, in and then I’m always surprised when I finally make it to the center, the heart. I waited for my friend to get to the center and then I retraced my steps and carefully unwound my way to the beginning. I then wandered the grounds a bit, looking at the empty trees with just a few berries hanging on. It was so peaceful and I felt that I had my moment of contemplation for Advent, this gentle time of anticipation. Nothing to prepare, nothing to gather, nothing to plan, just the quiet grey day and me.
I’ve always planned to put a labyrinth out on the farm and this spring is going to be the perfect time to build one. My father-in-law left us his beloved old bulldozer which will be perfect to smooth the old lawn that has become rough with age. So I’m scouting my own secret location to build my labyrinth while the ground is bare. I have beautiful old bricks piled behind the barn that will be perfect for defining the path. All is there just waiting for the day that the labyrinth will be ready for me to wind my way to the heart and bring back out the joy.