Writing in the 4th century, Augustine penned, “all problems can be solved by a walk.” While he may have been a tad overly optimistic, I know that in my experience, a walk settles me, gives me time for perspective, a cooler head to prevail and often opens to me a solution to what ails me.
Neither the location nor the pace seems to matter.
A stroll along the beach, a hike in the forest,
...or a power walk along the street where I live, all afford me benefits beyond just steps on my pedometer.
A dozen or so years ago, a colleague introduced me to the path of a labyrinth.
|Medieval Labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, dates from the 11th century|
In 2006 my colleague and I scribed over half a mile of pathway into the ground in the backyard of the church where we worked. It took the two of us about five full days of bone-jarring, muscle-vibrating work with a weed-whacker to etch an 11 circuit Chartres Labyrinth into the ground.
Some years later we fashioned a wall hanging for a local dance company to use in a dramatic portrayal of human spirituality. The four corner colours, represent, clockwise from the bottom left, earth, wind, fire, and water.
Also a Chartres (medieval) pattern, this wall hanging adorns the space above the fireplace in my living room. I look across to it from my kitchen and if I linger there a bit, I am able to recall the comfort and serenity that I was gifted with on so many labyrinth walks.
When I'm traveling, if I discover a labyrinth nearby, I will drop by and if the spirit moves me, take a stroll along the path.
|Five Oaks Retreat Centre, Brant Ontario|
Sometimes I can let my fingers do the walking...
|San Martino Cathedral, Lucca Italy;|
labyrinth dates from the 12th to 13th century
Labyrinths are good for me when I am tired of words.
|Loretto Maryholme Retreat Centre, Roches Point Ontario|
©2018 April Hoeller