Monday, 6 June 2011

The Labyrinth

I've been wanting to walk a labyrinth for a while; I've started to feel a little lost these last few months with so many changes happening in my life, and I felt I needed to focus on my next move. My everyday life is so chokka that I don't have the space to think clearly, other than "What needs done next?"

The irony was, I wasn't sure when I'd find the time, where I'd do it, how I'd do it… but of course, all the time I was silently asking these questions, life was providing, and today my labyrinth materialised.

The beauty of it was, I didn't even know about it until we were upon it so I had no time to prepare, to overthink. I simply entered it, laughing, with the simplest of questions in my head: "What should I do next?"

Father Earthly and baby no. 2 went left, and I went right with baby no. 1. Almost immediately we came to a dead end. Great start! I learnt later on that this path in fact does come out near the centre and was obviously designed as a quick exit (it was fenced off rather than hedged) when needed. That's so typical of my style - when I start something I jump straight in and go for the quickest, easiest route, only to find I must go back, take my time, start again and do things properly.

As I wound my way round with baby no. 1, I could hear Father Earthly calling out on his progress, chattering to the 6 1/2 month old in the sling that "they were winning". At first I felt light-hearted, jovial. This was fun. But baby no. 1 was getting upset. "Daddy!" he kept calling, a note of panic in his voice. He couldn't understand where Daddy had gone. As I kept taking wrong turns and seemed to be getting no nearer the centre I felt myself starting to panic too. My question changed to "Which way next?" and I started to feel the hedges closing in on me. Baby no. 1 was becoming quite upset. And then I found myself back at the beginning again

Downhearted, annoyed, I felt a failure. I so very nearly gave up, but instead turned round and re-entered, determined to win this time. Which way next? Father Earthly was now on his way out after gleefully gaining the centre. He told baby no. 2 they were going to help mummy now. Relief flooded me as we met on a corner and he led us on - I wanted to do this on my own but obviously that was not what this labyrinth was all about. I needed his help; We all went together.

He told me along the way that the trick with many of these mazes was not to take the most obvious path. So if you see a path that runs alongside the centre, that's probably the wrong one - take the outer path instead, that goes the opposite way. Ahh, I thought, that again is so like me. Yes, I follow my heart, but I also try and invoke reason. And reason very rarely has the right answer.

We entered the centre together, as a family, and my question reformed itself again to "Who do I want to be next?"

And with that I was happy. So often in life we are simply not asking the right questions. Through walking the labyrinth today I learned that I need to change my focus, lift my eyes above the horizon and view the greater picture. Who should I be next? I think I already know ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful analogies, darling. Really I just wanted to get you into the middle so I could court you!

    The maze was at Tatton Park, and uses the same format as the Hampton Court Maze. As such, it's considered to be an island maze, but one that can be solved with the "hand on the wall" method. That is, at the start you choose wether you are going to keep your left or your right hand on the wall, and you follow any branches with that hand. If you come to a dead end, you keep that hand on the wall as you turn around, and eventually you will come to your goal. I'll let you analogise that as you wish!


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