I walked into the labyrinth today to get inspiration for writing this book, this story about how the triple spiral labyrinth has impacted my life. I walk in, it’s my first trip through, the trip I call the maiden. And I’m coming up with all sorts of “first lines,” none of which I can remember now. What I do remember is at some point I laugh and think to myself, “of course, “maiden thoughts!”. Now there is nothing wrong with maiden thoughts; they’re new, fresh, mostly unformed, and while they’re the foundation that the rest of my understanding and work is built upon, they’re just that, maiden thoughts.
I continue walking, the fledgling red shoulder hawk keering away in the trees on my neighbor’s property, right rowdy bugger he is, keer, keer, keer! The air is crisp, the weatherman had said that we might wake up to snow, which is part of why I am out here. I really wanted to see snow this morning. I love snow, fresh snow. It reminds me of home. And there is a stillness that comes with snow that I love. It calms my spirit, this stillness.
Mother walk, second time through, walking, watching the dog rush about. I think she’s excited by the fact that it’s early morning and we’re outside. It could be that she feels snow in the air; it could be that I’m making that all up, but it’s fun to make up things.
Crone walk. Slower, more thoughtful, still delight and gratitude in every step, but less worried about whether I’m actually going to be able to come up with something, anything, let alone the “best first sentence ever!” I stop in the heart center. Standing there, enjoying the stillness. I hear “the magic is in the unwinding.” Well, what kind of first sentence is that? Really? Yeah, I suppose I could connect that back. Really, I could start anywhere. I thought about “Where’s the beginning, damn it!” That’s a whole story in and of itself and I like the punny-ness of it. But I stand there, thinking about just how true it is that the magic is in the unwinding of the pattern. Just breathing that in.
And then I start to unwind the pattern, breath slow, heart rate slow, eyes clear, mind clear and calm. I love this pattern. I love the stillness of my mind as I am walking it. The long spaces between thoughts, the ability to laugh at the thoughts as they float by, the awareness of the thoughts that feel like they come from some place other than my little mind.
I’m in the maiden now, I’ve just turned around at the center and am facing the other direction (a bit about the spirals that I adore, that swirly bit, right there in the middle). I’m looking down and I notice that it has begun to sprinkle. There are little circles on the stones, remnants of the drops of water that have just fallen. I slow to a stop. I’m standing, just looking at the rain and then I notice that the rain is slowing down. Not that there are fewer raindrops, but that everything feels like it’s slowing down. And then I see it, one white streak, plummeting to the ground. And I think, “Is that snow?” My ear prick up (well, they would if I were a dog, it just feels like that inside). I’m now very still, watching and listening and the white streaks become more and more frequent and the movement from the heavens becomes slower and slower. IT’S SNOWING! The dog is leaping about. I’m almost skipping. The black cat is scampering ahead of me as we head back to the house to tell my husband and my son. As the snow starts to fall, thicker and thicker, I just stand there in delight. I know it won’t last. I can feel that in the air. It’s not cold enough for the snow to stick, but this moment, this one right here, it’s snowing!
I did manage to remember to pull out my phone and take a picture of the dog with a few snowflakes on her head. The lovely white snowflakes show up so dramatically on her black fur.
Here she is in all her, “Mom, really? You’re taking a picture of me? It’s snowing! I want to jump about, or go inside and lie down by the fire. What I don’t want to do is have you take a picture of me. . .”
So, did I walk out with a “best first line of a novel ever!”? No, but I walked out with a reminder that I have no idea what’s going to happen next and I have no idea what things mean. Yes, the magic was in the unwinding. I wanted snow. I got snow. I got to experience it because I chose to go outside to walk the labyrinth to get inspired about writing. This isn’t what I expected, but I sure like it! I’m grateful and delighted. Not a bad way to start the day.