Labyrinths seem to be serendipitously finding me lately. First there was the random mention in a recent AAA magazine. Then a book I was reading mentioned it. The third appearance of a labyrinth I literally stumbled onto, and crystalized the point that labyrinths must have a special meaning for me right now. I was walking in Palo Alto at night and came across the labyrinth below, which I returned to later to photograph and walk through properly.
For some disambiguation between labyrinths and mazes, see Wikipedia. Basically, a maze in a puzzle where you try to get to a certain end point opposite where you enter, and there are tricks and turns, while a labyrinth is a single path to the center, also with turns, but you don’t get ‘lost’. Labyrinths also have a spiritual element, and are featured prominently in churches. Many you see nowadays are based off the labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in France. The labyrinth shown above is one of those.
The proper tour of a labyrinth consists of three parts: 1) the winding path to the center, representing the twists and turns in our journey of life, and how you are suppose to release them as you come to the center, 2) time spent resting and reflecting in the center, receiving what is there to receive, and 3) returning down the same path of life, but now joined with a Higher Power.
Interesting stuff for reflection. I would love to hear others’ experiences with labyrinths. They seem fortuitously brought into my life. I also have had the chance to walk the (same design) labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Simply stunning.