August 29: Chestnut Hill at the magic hour. I sit down to write my blog entry and reflect on walks 41-50. Late last week, I got to the labyrinth with a sense of elation and insanity that made me think about commitments and the faith and counter-intuitiveness they sometimes require. Today is the anniversary of a day that I made a promise that I did not keep. If I understood life the way I do now, what advice would I have given myself? I am sure that I could not have understood how the path would turn over and over. And that love can change and endure at the same time.
Last Friday evening the sight of the brilliant purple flowers alongside the dying pale ones made me weep so fully as I winded my way through the labyrinth. On the labyrinth I feel like a child and a very old woman at the same time, and somehow being a half century old lets me look back and forward from an equal distance. I weep often on the labyrinth, but it is not from sadness, I think. It is from recognition.
Yesterday morning, fruit from the shade tree began dropping down as if a tennis match had begun in the garden. The surprise of the sounds got me to listen. Midas the Dog. An ambulance. And I continued to trudge a path that always reminds me a bit of the ancient theatre when I first came across it in Cyprus–removed from the present day in its elemental nature, yards away from a major pike with a few flowers a church and a maple tree to protect it.
This evening on my walk, I lavished some attention at the fountain which is the remembrance of the little girl. I learned of another girl, Julia the daughter of my coworker, who has lived with severe challenges for 17 years when her parents were told she would live minutes. She is on her own path, her father told me, and he describes how a neighbor stopped a lifetime of drinking when Julia was small, because the neighbor wanted to care for her. And she can now mark 17 years for sobriety.
I read a blog post from Labyrinth Pilgrim. She seeks out many labyrinths. She tried the 365 challenge for a month and a half, and found it lacking. I do not find it lacking and hope that I can continue to uphold this commitment, so that I can learn to make more and keep more.