shade treeI have not been to the labyrinth in three days.  The days are shorter. Other commitments to people and deadlines seem more compelling.  Yet, the walks in the weeks since my last post have covered such extensive ground. Once I walked with Paul. He asked me to explain the labyrinth just before we arrived, but after he walked, he just said ‘thank you’ and put his arm around my shoulder, and I knew he needed no explanation. I shiver at the center sometimes and watch the wind pummel the fragile plants in the garden.  I completed a trinity of walks on a weekend afternoon. Peter, an old friend who has just died at age 50 came rushing into my mind on the second of those walks. I smiled as I thought of his eternal youth, and cried because it had ended for him too soon. My meditation is no longer about seeking emptiness, but welcoming the people who come in to my mind as I walk, and letting them walk with me. I now have memories of friends and loved ones taking the path with me. Its simplicity keeps me focused, and helps me remember, as the silence of the Quaker meeting punctuated by one message helps me hold it in memory to savor later. The path is buried in yellow leaves and the brilliant reds in the gardens have surrendered to mellow oranges and browns. The shade tree will need a new name by the time I return.

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