Did I ever tell you about my Hawaiian labyrinth experience? Perhaps not because it kind of fits into one of those categories of inexplicable. It was a journey even getting there. Recommended by my friend and fellow spiritual director, Mary Ellen, we (six adult family members) were on a mission to find the Sacred Gardens in Maui. (In reality, my sister and I were on the mission - the rest were more or less agreeable to join in the adventure.)
Upon arriving at the gardens, we were greeted by their giant guardian angel, Bodie. His joyful presence occupied the dog lovers with 150 pounds of slobbering puppy love. The gardens, book store and two labyrinths nestled into the center of this tropical island were entertainment enough for the rest of the gang.
When I finally made my way outside to the path surrounded by tropical forest, a fellow traveler had already started his walk. Rather than crowd him, I waited until he reached the center and began his trek out. For a few minutes we traversed the gravel pathway together, moving in and out along the sacred road. While I was only mildly aware of his presence, there came a moment when he stopped at the edge of the circle, paused and then stepped out. In that split second, I felt a noticeable shift in the energy around me - not good, not bad, just different. The labyrinth was now all mine.
Walking with gentle steps, I became aware of light raindrops touching my bare skin. There was something fresh and new about the drops sifting through the green foliage, while contented birds sang in tune with my every step. Not being one to let a little water slow me down (it is, after all, my word for the year), I continued my pilgrimage. The rain persisted and picked up speed as I realized I would soon be soaking wet (having only just dried out from the morning's beach combing.) That was when the second angel appeared - Eve, (appropriately named in this garden of Eden) the proprietress, silently offered me a giant umbrella to help keep me dry.
Striped bumbershoot in hand, I continued my walk toward center. Upon arrival, I found the rest of the world had slipped away. I wasn't aware of anyone or anything except the present moment. Time stood still. As I tipped my head back to peek from beneath my shelter, the rain slowed down to the pace creation. I could see each drop appearing, one by one. And as I felt my whole being stretching upward, I experienced the hands of God reaching for my own - forming the drops of moisture out of thin air and pouring them into the being that is me. Aaahhhhhh. Yes, time stood still.
There are moments in a lifetime, I believe, that cause a molecular shift in your whole being. Even though they may drift in and out of conscious memory, they are embedded in who I am - in who you are. Currently, I am reading about Yoruba religion (a new one for me). In this tradition, Yoruba wisdom speaks of "recalling what we already know within." While I cannot adequately describe with words, I know that standing in the center of the Sacred Garden's labyrinth was one of those moments of "recalling."
How about you? Have you ever experienced moments of recalling what you already know deep within?
For my "official" review of God is Not One, visit here Monday, April 26 when I’m featured on the TLC Book Tour.
Bodie & Sacred Gardens © h3 images - artwork currently on display here and here.