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Archive for August 8th, 2003

Labyrinth Garden

Friday, August 8th, 2003

Healing Garden at SparrowToday I went for a routine visit to a doctor, and I took advantage of that time to visit the Sparrow Center for Health and Well-Being Healing Garden which has a labyrinth. This labyrinth is a maze-like path within a circle (click healing garden link to see aerial view), in a garden situated between the building holding doctors’ offices and the parking ramp. It is a wonderful peaceful space in the city, on Michigan Avenue about eleven blocks from the Capitol building.

Mind you, the parking ramp is perhaps the most serenity-disturbing place I drive on any regular basis in this city. They have accidents there too often, and you can’t even move from the gridlock right after lunch hour. Because of the proximity to the ramp, sometimes as you are in the healing garden, you can hear honking horns… but not frequently. It is sort of amazing they were able to create as peaceful a space as they have, given the piece of real estate they used for it.

I don’t know much about labyrinths, but apparently walking the path into and out of the circle, via a path about 1/3 mile long, is intended for a meditative and spiritual experience where the conscious self can be put on hold for a short while. I have walked this labyrinth twice, and it is indeed peaceful and calming to do it.

There were two bits of literature available to me there today. One was a slick and beautiful booklet in multiple colors of ink. This one speaks poetically of a need for a garden such as this, with wonderful quotations (I love collecting quotes). The other is a photocopied sheet telling how one might use the labyrinth for a personally meaning experience. That second piece says, in part:

The labyrinth is a simple path, a walking path used to quiet the mind. It is a path of reflection, contemplation, and clarity. It is symbolic of our spiritual journey our journey within, and our connection with the Divine. The eleven-circuit labyrinth dates back to the 12th century. Consisting of eleven concentric circles, it is a single path leading to the center and back out.

I was really happy to find that garden again today. I actually found it because I got off the elevator on the wrong floor. How lucky I was to make that small mistake!

Here is a quote out of the larger booklet:

…we started to lose that sort of time, pausing time, reflecting time, wondering time. * Life rushes us along and few people are strong enough to stop on their own. * Most often, something unforseen stops us, and it is only then we have time… To know our own story…
– Rachel Naomi Remen
, Kitchen Table Wisdom

I have been pushing like crazy, trying to do everything I want to do. Not wanting to say no even if it would mean better health. Wanting to push until all I want to do listens to what I want, and fits into a mere 24-hour day. I really needed a way to calm myself down.

After I left the garden and did my errands, Brian took me to the Folk Festival. It was wonderful. We danced together… not particularly gracefully, but when you are in love that matters very little. I enjoyed my time there immensely. We ran into so many people we know and love in the arts communities (dance, music and art), that I can’t possibly name them all without embarrassing myself by leaving someone out.

Tomorrow I go in the morning to Spinners’ Flock with Tony. We come back in mid-afternoon, and I will then go to the Folk Festival and probably help Altu and then close down the dance tent.

In the late evening, I could conceivably also go to the knit-in at Yarn for Ewe. However, if I’m realistic, I think that is not a smart move for someone doing too much already that day and who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in over a week. I just hate to miss, it’s a great time.

Tonight at the Festival I got a second wind. So I will not make any decisions until tomorrow night.