Last weekend, my son’s UU religious education (RE) class learned about labyrinths, which many UUs and people of other belief systems use both metaphorically and as a spiritual practice. The assistant RE directed noted that another local church has two labyrinths in the woods on their retreat property, Rolling Ridge.
So we took a ride over there yesterday afternoon to walk the labyrinths and, perhaps, meditate while on our path. (Okay, with my kids, meditation — in the silent, pensive, inward-looking sense of the word — was but a pipe dream.)
It occurred to me only after I parked the car that it’s winter in New England. We still have snow on the ground. A labyrinth is, in fact, a path. On the ground. And therefore under the snow. Suddenly I was reminded of last winter when we (and when I say “we,” I mean “I”) decided it would be fun to finally try letterboxing with the kids. In the snow and 20-degree weather. It was not fun, nor, as you might expect, did we find the boxes. We did learn something that day, however: walking around in the woods, looking for something someone else has left there, on an Arctic-cold, overcast day does little to bring about family peace or unity.
See the curved path outlined by the rocks?
Given that I’ve made the same mistake two years in a row, I must be in some sort of deep, soul-level denial about winter. Either that, or I’m just incapable of learning from past experiences. The jury is still out.
Anyway, luckily, we don’t have all that much snow left, and the labyrinths were somewhat visible because they’re marked with logs and large stones. If you looked closely, you could see the curved patterns in the snow, but you couldn’t see for certain the specific path laid out. So we did the best we could to follow the intended labyrinth paths, but I’m sure we’ll have better luck once the snow melts.
Sometime in June.