Stone Labyrinth, pencil on paper, Jacqueline Perry, 2013
Entrance to the stone labyrinth at Our Lady of the Praire Retreat Center. Tiny stones make the path; larger ones mark boundaries.
A person enters, walks the winding path to reach the center and takes the same path out. Sometimes there are benches at the center, and sometimes not.
Most times, it takes me twenty to thrirty minutes to walk a labyrinth. The first one that I walked was mowed into a grassy field atop a hill near Des Moines. Though it was lovely, I didn’t get what I was suppose to do; other people seemed to know. They would enter and walk the path at their own pace. Even a goose started at the entrance and walked around a bit.
Now, I appreciate the chance to walk a labrinth–it serves as a stop sign for me. Labyrinths invite us to down shift. They resist our worship of hurry. Outdoor pathes made of natural materials such as stone, grasses, sand or brick remind me to be mindful of my steps, breathe fresh air, and notice that the earth has a slower rythm in which we are invited to step.
Prayer: Thank you Spirit, for stop signs.