6 more walks: grounding

st. jsjesusAfter a sad morning, I wanted to go to the St. Jude and the Nativity Labyrinth, but it was Sunday, so there were churchgoers hanging out in the garden, and I decided to escape to St. Joseph’s. I had already gotten the idea to walk the labyrinth 5 times, and actually this brick labyrinth with no cozy mushrooms to sit on in the center invited a more dynamic approach. I looked up in the center on walk 1, and I realized I was beneath a very tall fir tree, the sun burned through the blue fir, to the other side, I noticed the height of the catherdral and how it rivaled the tree In its reach. As I walked I was so aware of the suddenness of the turns one takes in life, how taking one direction for awhile may be a long or short walk, but it will always change, and then, even when I feel as if I have been down a path, actually, it is another path alongside it, closer or further away from the center. By walk 3 I was completely in the labyrinth, as much as in my own head. A nun in a yellow dress opened the glass door a bit of a way from the labyrinth, and sat down to read. I notice that I am different when I perceive a witness. I thought of bringing my 8 year old acting students to the labyrinth to find out what they could learn from the walk. In the middle of walk 5 I lay down at the center, in savasana, or corpse pose. I put my head up and realized the nun could not see me, even if she were interested.
The bricks beneath my body were warm and I was aware of the Earth underneath them as a comforting and powerful presence, my whole body was being held, my gaze at the very blue sky, the fir tree and church were even more tall from this vantage. The circulation of energy reminded me somewhat of the end of a yoga class, but it was more symmetrical and energized than after a well balance yoga practice which slowly draws the body down. It took me awhile to get the notion of ‘grounding’ when I was learning yoga. Here, I was so aware of the ground and the support it brought in this moment, that I think I have finally gotten it. I walked out barefoot like a pilgrim to keep my connection to the Earth, which was an animated being to me at this point. I trusted that when the bricks got too hot, that I would always reach a patch of shade, and it was true.
I remained in an altered state for a few hours, and a bit shaky.
August 10 walk 25: Later, I got to St. Jude and the Nativity. No humans, but the animals were all out in the garden, rabbits, crows, robins, at least 3 other flocks of birds and a monarch butterfly whirled close to me. The afternoon sun was directly resting on St. Jude and the Nativity Church, the many colors of the garden were vibrant. A rabbit crossed within inches of me. I wondered if the animals trusted me more after all the meditation of the day, but when I got home, the birds that enjoy the two feeders on the front lawn flew away as usual, save the dove, who never seems to fears me.

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