A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
It was at least ten years ago that I was introduced to this concept; a temporary labyrinth was created for the community where I was living at the time.
Out of curiosity I stepped in and later wrote this poem about my experience.
Seeing no way in as I approach,
Panic pushes me to step over the line;
I enter from where I am.
Stocking feet step carefully, quietly
One in front of the other.
Inside the contours we stir around
Turning back, re-circling silently
Moving past one another.
After ten minutes of this endeavor
I pass “go” – the starting point
Marked by a box of tissues, and I think
Isn’t that just like my life?
Timing, which is everything, keeps me
Too far ahead and so far behind.
Once again I begin this journey
Pretending to know how.
My lives pass before my eye and
Pound inside my inner ear,
Tracing imprints on layers of my chaos –
Uncoiling and clarifying all that was
And all that ever shall be – Oh,
The uncertainty of all those choices!
I think of my family then and now
And stop in my tracks.
Waiting for balance – then moving
Steadily again aiming for the rose.
In the center I exhale through a smile.
I can’t think of anything I need right now.
Wanting to dance and stifling my giggles,
I re-track my steps and find my way out –
Not wanting to disturb this pensive
Prayerful path for others.