Monday, September 28, 2009

labyrinthine perfection

I discovered this weekend that the labyrinth path is in its best incarnation yet. I haven't been down there since early July, when I injured my back and stopped doing the wheelbarrow chore. And then I worried that without my vigilance the entire project had probably fizzled out.

Oh me of little faith.

I walked down on Saturday with a wheelbarrow of manure and when I got to the bottom of the woodland trail I was stunned. With delight!

The labyrinth path was soft green grass, and it is a true labyrinth now, with trees growing over my head high, goldenrod in full bloom, and a true sense of the mystery and allure of a labyrinth.

My husband expressed surprise at my surprise. He says he told me he had been mowing the path itself, and that it was looking good. Somehow I never quite "heard" this. But he was understating the beauty of that entire space.

I took some photos but because of all the green, you really can't see the path and how it winds down and curves out of sight, pulling you to walk on down and see where it goes.

Once you're in the path proper, it feels like you've left everything behind and are in a quiet, special place. Exactly what I wanted when I started it.

Not quite as frequently as the tide washing sand castles away, the labyrinth path space is periodically cleared due to power lines. So I can't fully control the way things grow down there. But for this autumn, this month, it's absolutely perfect.


Grey Horse Matters said...

The labyrinth sounds perfectly beautiful and mystical. All your hard work seems to have paid off.

I'll be you could get your husband (who takes wonderful photos) to take a great picture of you and the big bay sitting/meandering down the grass path.

mamie said...

I just a couple of days ago sent someone an email about an event that I thought would not be a success and it was a screaming success. And I used the line, "Oh me of little faith" in the email. Funny!

I would love to meet you for lunch sometime when you're in the big city. Send me an email if you're interested.

Michelle said...

Just the way you've described it gives me such a feeling of peace and restfulness. Sounds beautiful. And I'm with GHM - sounds like a perfect photo backdrop!

horseadventures said...

Love it! A nice reminder that micro-managing isn't always necessary! :) Glad for you that you have a special, magical place built with intention, support, and the time.

billie said...

Arlene, that is something to think about. I really wish I had taken photos after the bigger trees along the edges were cleared - that was when I really thought the entire project had been shoved back to square one, but in hindsight it shifted things forward.

billie said...

Hi, Mamie - great minds express themselves alike... :)

I would love to meet for lunch - that said, I am so rarely in the big city since moving my office. I can't remember the last time I was there, in fact!

Let me know if you ever head over in my direction, and I'll email if I find myself in yours. Generally speaking, lunches out have disappeared from life b/c of my schedule, but anything can happen..!

billie said...

Michelle, it's hard to describe the way it feels down there, but I'm glad I managed to convey some of its magic.

It's been such a long project, with many incarnations along the way, all quite nice, but nothing like it is now.

billie said...

Wendy, I think b/c of the manual labor quality of this, along with the external factors like nature and weather, this project has been the singly most illustrative of life lessons of anything I've ever done.

Having a vision, chipping away at something day by day, dealing with things beyond my control like redbugs and rain and whimsical electrical co-op schedules.

I remember giving up several times, but then those times turned into reframing the idea so I could keep going, and then this summer when I stopped going down there, I figured it was on a semi-permanent hiatus. That my husband was continuing to work on it and how it looks now is proof that sometimes we don't even really have to communicate for someone to keep a dream going.

And it will shift and change from where it is now, but I think I've finally "got it" that the whole point of this labyrinth is to let it go some, and trust that it has a life of its own beyond what I want it to be.

(as I was re-reading to try and catch typos, I realized that everything above can be equally and helpfully applied to writing books for publication)

ponymaid said...

No Minotaurs in there I hope? One can't be too careful. Send Redford in first, just in case.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I have no doubts Redford would head into the center of the labyrinth with no fear. He has been rambling the front field all morning, on donkey patrol.

Salina and Keil Bay are not amused that daytime turn-out is being enforced with the closed gate. I don't usually do that, but I want them out moving around.

The donkeys love it - they get a break from guarding Salina.

horseadventures said...


This analogy you've made with the labrinthe spilled right over into my state of mind yesterday - the combination of periods of chipping away at something, steady effort, and feeling like giving up in the face of difficulties - writing, riding, business, etc.

Such a lovely thought that a hiatus can be refreshing and allow events to unfold - someimte with unusual results. Coming back to a work with a fresh eye can be a delight.

billie said...

Wendy, as someone who likes to control and organize things, it was a pretty big lesson when I walked down there Saturday and realized that my absence had not rocketed the whole project to ruin.

And I use that last dramatic phrase intentionally because that's the kind of thinking I can get into when I'm not able to tend to things I've committed myself to tend.

There's something about living with animals and nature, on even a small farm, that moderates this kind of thinking on a daily basis.

The labyrinth idea was clearly a gift from the universe. I'm glad its effects are spiraling out further than me.

Matthew said...

The most amazing thing to me about the labyrinth is a 12' tall sycamore tree that has grown up in the last year since they whacked everything down!

billie said...

The incredible power of spreading horse manure!!