If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy.
— Mary Baker Eddy
I did something a little out of the ordinary today on my lunch hour: I went out to Hunter Park and walked the labyrinth.
The labyrinth has been out there for about a year and a half. This guy from the parks department came up with the idea to paint the pattern on an abandoned basketball court as a unique way of reclaiming the space. He basically taped it off, painted the labyrinth on there with fog-line paint, and stuck a big rock in the middle so people can stop and rest if they want.
According to a sign at the park, a labyrinth is different from a maze in that there is only one way in and out, and while it has twists and turns — much like a maze — it does not have forks in the road or dead-ends designed to create confusion. There’s nothing to solve. It’s just a long, winding path that goes into the center of a circle. To get out, you simply retrace your steps.
It is impossible to get lost in a labyrinth, and it is impossible to take a wrong turn. You just have to trust the path and follow it patiently toward your destination. If you start looking too far ahead or shifting your gaze to one side or the other, it gets confusing — and a little unnerving. You lose track of where you’re going, where you’ve been, and how long it’s going to take to get there. You start to wonder if you’ll ever get done. You second-guess yourself, wondering if maybe somehow you did manage to overstep the lines and cross over onto the wrong path.
But if you stay focused and follow patiently where the path leads, you aren’t lost, confused, scared, or anxious. You simply are.
There’s a metaphysical lesson in the labyrinth. I’ll let you find it.
You can explore a virtual labyrinth here. (NOTE: Hippy-dippy-New-Agey music that sounds like it came from a “Hearts of Space” broadcast starts automatically when you hit the “click here to begin your journey” link, so turn down the speakers if it’s likely to bug anybody.)
If I can figure out where and how to do it, I want to put a labyrinth in my backyard. I don’t have a whole lot of space, but maybe I can come up with something involving stepping stones. We could certainly use some paths to help us steer clear of the little presents that Scout and Song and Jason leave for us when we’re trying to get to the garden. Might as well make the path interesting and aesthetically pleasing while I’m at it.
I wonder how much Sackrete it would take to build something fairly simple between the deck and the garden gate?