I don’t understand the chemistry of a labyrinth – if chemistry is even the word. How magic happens by stepping into a circle of stones. This day I was simply there to do the time. I even set the stopwatch on my wrist. Walking slowly, I was drawn to pulling out the haphazard weeds in the path. Themes of ritual and funeral rose in my mind. Letting go. Refining and expanding.
Stepping into the center, I see the altar of remembrances and symbols of others’ letting go. My pockets holding a hotel key and sunglasses, I have nothing to leave. But there on my wrist are the cloth bracelets I have worn for years. They represent another time of life. The raising of my children now turned adult. It’s time to release and let go.
The lavender band was the easier to remove. Elastic, faded purple, worn around the edges, it’s had many uses – holding my hair, snapping my wrist, adding color to my life. It is a reminder of my sweet girl. Today it’s time to let go. The green band comes next – not so easy to maneuver. I’ve worn it for seven years in honor of my dear son. It’s time to let go and as I stand in the center of the labyrinth I know that to be true. Ritual. Funeral. Release.
No scissors. No knife. No stone sharp enough to cut the cord. Only my sheer will to release and let go. It was painful and at times seemed impossible. Pushing. Pulling. Tugging. Centimeter by centimeter I stretched it across my hand. Tiny blood blisters form on my wrist and no doubt bruises will follow. Millimeter by millimeter. I cease to battle, because it is inevitable the bracelet will stay in the center of this New Mexico labyrinth. How do we know when it’s time to let go? We know.
Pausing in the center, tears formed and while there wasn’t a whoosh of relief or release, there was a calm presence that offered, “This is true. Yes.” Squatting by the sweet altar, holding my breath for a moment or two – leaving purple and green tucked and entwined together, a magpie feather guarding their resting place. “You can’t return the way you came.” Words as clear as the church bells in the distance. Another magpie leads my way as I step across the path. A hop here. A pause there. I can’t go back the way I came.
photo with permission © http://www.carryitforward.com/
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