I’ve been wanting to get this walking pattern out to the world but was unclear on how to do it, then through a series of serendipitous conversations, I hit upon the idea of building one in the sand at a local beach.
Saturday, November 24th, dawned clear and bright. Mark and I headed down to Seabright Beach mid-morning, hitting the top of the stairs at about 11:00 armed with two small rakes, two tape measures and a couple of chairs for when we got tired and wanted to sit.
First order of business, where does this beauty want to be situated? The labyrinths always tell me where they want to be, the entrances and heart center are clear to me, but this is a beach! Not a tree in sight to help me figure this out (they tend to be situated beneath the protective canopy of trees). Will there be a clear indication? Turns out yes. Of course, there are some logical places of where to not put them. Don’t try to build one in between the poles of the volleyball courts, that would be silly, and not directly at the bottom of the stairs, for similar reasons.
But there, as I’m walking around, is that lovely swirly energy of the heart space. I turn to look at the ocean, spinning slowly to figure out what direction, and there it is, the view of the lighthouse.
Okay, we get out the tape measures now that we know where the heart center is. The entrance is easy from there. So, we get to work with the math end of the labyrinths. That’s Mark’s bailiwick, but this time he’s carefully explaining things to me, because I’ll be doing this on my own this coming Friday.
We’ve plotted the baseline and the center line that runs up through the Mother spiral. I’m standing in the center of the Maiden spiral, and Mark is spinning around me at the end of the tape measure, dragging his feet and giggling like a small child. Turns out, this part is one of his favorites! We never knew before, because we’ve never done this is the sand!
And now it’s time to start figuring out the transitions, let the fussing begin! “No! Mark, not there! It’s over here!” “I know I said to show me how to measure it, but now I want to change it! I want the heart center to be larger, so we have to move the center back about three feet.” “Not your three feet, MY three feet.”
Thank heavens, Mark just laughs through all of my fussing. He knows it’s only because I love this pattern so much that I’m so insistent on making sure it’s exactly right. He also knows it’s not personal. We continue to work out the details, and then the phone starts ringing! Look! Friends are coming to join us!
We put Letta to work taking pictures, because really, she didn’t plan on coming to actually dig, she was responding my Facebook post — she lives just a few blocks away. And then Jeanne and Tracy show up with children and dog in tow. They set about gathering seaweed, driftwood, shells, flowers, anything that can be used to decorate and outline the labyrinth.
Mark and I continue to dig. I get tired and sit down in one of the chairs, watching as the others work (Jeanne offers to rake, and I happily give that tool up.)
It’s funny. While it was happening, it seemed like it was taking forever (because raking sand is manual labor and I am a delicate flower), but really, it took a little over two hours to create this.
I watch, while we’re making this, as people edge near to see what we’re doing and then skirt away, as if not to intrude.
I came back to visit the labyrinth on Monday and had similar experiences. While I was in the labyrinth, walking it, I would see people as they came close then moved away. One fellow actually waved hello when I was in the heart center. After walking it, I decide to go down and walk on the beach.
I’d been telling Mark earlier that I wasn’t really interested in shorebirds, but that also turns out not to be true. As I head towards the water’s edge, I notice three (!) small shorebirds.
Okay, okay, you can’t really see them in this picture, but I loved the wave so much I used this one instead of the picture where you can actually see the three little snowy plovers.
There are so many stories swirling around in my head around the labyrinth. Bird stories, people stories, but at the heart of every story is the simple joy that I find walking this pattern, being in nature, being in the present moment.