Monday, May 06, 2013

Beautiful, serene -- and even good for you!

Saturday was not just 'May the 4th be with you' day (and really, who started that one, George Lucas?). It was also World Labyrinth Day.

I'm quick to admit the only reason I knew the significance of the date was that I was part of an event marking the official opening of a new labyrinth at nearby Kwomais Point Park.

Nearly a year ago, I did a post on this labyrinth, which was then only a clearing in the woods. I called that post "A Place of Vision" as that's what the word 'Kwomais' means.

And what a lovely day we had to celebrate this 'place of vision'. The weather was perfect -- sunny and unseasonably warm for early May. Certainly no one complained, including the singing eagles who soared overhead.

Although the official ceremony was at 11, many of us stayed in the park to celebrate the 'Walk as One' at 1 pm which marked the world-wide observance.

I filled the time between events with a walk in the forest and discovered as I always do, that the natural paths provide their own kind of meditative labyrinth. I also discovered this treasure that someone had left behind in
the forest, their creation which I call an 'art tree'.

One o'clock was also when the 'unofficial' part of the ceremonies began. Local artist and writer Virginia Gillespie, one of the prime movers behind construction of the labyrinth, led us along the pathway while beating a drum and speaking beautiful words about labyrinths, their history and a number of beliefs and practices surrounding them. The one I found most intriguing was the practice of drawing labyrinth patterns on the bellies of pregnant women -- supposedly a track for the unborn infant to follow!

Even if you're not pregnant, walking a labyrinth is supposed to provide many health benefits, especially when it comes to stress-related ailments such as high blood pressure and chronic pain.

If you'd like to see this particular labyrinth a bit better, there's a link to a song (a bit long, but...) which praises the Eagles' Nest Labyrinth and which shows it as it looked earlier this year.

And in case you think you (or your group) would like to build your own labyrinth, here's a link to some instructions for doing just that.

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