September 30: Walk 80 It had rained all day, but I got to the labyrinth when the sky was quiet. The ground was very wet, and I was inspired by my friend, who had approached the labyrinth with such conscious and creative analysis, that I began to lightly in my head trace my own chronological path as I walked—the first short section was my early childhood, I turned a corner and began going to school, then high school, then college, then the long stretch when I was out of college and married before the sharp turn to grad school, my various locations and vocations, easily and lightly the images and people emerged for me at each imaginary stretch and then faded. My mother’s illness and death, my turn away from life revolved around theatre, the curve in the path which took me to Pennsylvania. I had finished about 3/4s of the labyrinth when I caught up with my life. Then each step was an unknown, and a sudden shower of yellow leaves began spiraling down before me, and my thoughts were quiet. I was naively hopeful that the rest of my life would continue to have the quality I was experiencing in that moment, wonderment, peace. At the final turn, I imagined preparing for death.
Yesterday I took a walk on the grounds of Audubon’s home at Mill Grove. I did not see birds, sadly, but rather large rodents (perhaps beavers?) and deer and silver squirrels. The grounds and trails were hilly, alongside an occasional rustic cottage and primitive bridge. The Perkiomen Creek was full and still, more like a river. I read about Audubon, and found some interesting facts about him, most notably, that he was bi-racial and had spent most of his childhood in France. His illustrations of birds were created by killing and stuffing the birds, but he was the first to position them as if they were alive.