When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt very strongly that I needed to get outdoors with my camera, and that I should go to Tinker Nature Park, particularly to the labyrinth there. I really try to pay attention to my intuition, so I got up, showered, and was out the door within 20 minutes, camera in hand.
Two years ago when I began this blog, I started by writing about how I see my life as a labyrinth with all its twists and turns. I still do see it that way, and I try to use the labyrinth as a meditation tool as often as I can. Fortunately, a traveling labyrinth comes to First Unitarian Church on a monthly basis, so I go when I am free. There are also two local labyrinths that I know of: one in Tinker Nature Park and the other in First Unitarian’s garden. I made sojourns to both today.
For today’s meditation, I decided to focus on the words on the sign posted at the entrance to the Tinker Park labyrinth…”Enjoy your journey through life.”
I decided that I was going to focus on my past life on the way into the labyrinth, think about my present at the center, and then think about where my future may take me on the way out.
As I walked, I began to notice how the path was filled with weeds…it hasn’t been kept up all that well. Many of them were as tall as my knee! Walking along, I decided to pull the tallest weeds. Each weed I pulled symbolized something from my past that no longer served me. I didn’t attach any specific memories…I just said, “This no longer serves me” when I pulled a weed. Now I couldn’t pull EVERY weed along the way (it would have taken a very long time to do so), just like I cannot pull EVERY experience out of my past; I’d have no past left.
Is this (fuzzy) picture, you can see some of the standing weeds inside. It was like that throughout the entire path. Having no bag to carry the pulled weeds in, I laid them along the outside of the path to dry up in the sun (it certainly was beating down) and blow away. That way, they return to the Earth. I thought of the parts of my past I was releasing and decided to let them go into the Earth as positive energy and lessons learned. Again, nothing specific…just in general. It was an exercise I’d done under hypnosis several times, but it seemed to bear worth repeating at this time in the physical world. A very satisfying meditation!
When I reached the center, I started to think about where I am in my life right now and how my past led me here. I know that everything that happened in the past was part of how I came to be who I am at this moment, and if I were to go back to change anything, like the butterfly effect, I would most likely not be in this place right now. I am happy where I am. This is the stone in the center of the labyrinth, so I decided to look up the meaning of the duck (specifically the mallard…it looked like a mallard to me) as a totem. This is what I found:
Mallards imprint very easily and are very sociable. They don’t like to be alone. This is something to look at if you have a duck for a totem ~ they reference to the need to be around those of like mind, where you feel comfortable and safe.
So far, so good.
Mallards are symbolic of emotions, as they are associated with the water element. They help in reminding one to take care of their emotional self, to nurture, and be easy on the spirit. They represent being able to handle your emotions with grace and strength. And after spending time with this mallard, I find they teach one to trust their instincts about others..and align yourself with those that have a kind spirit, fostering healthy relationships. (In Feng Shui, Mallards are symbolic for relationships and commitment)
Wow…even closer. I like this meaning.
On the way out, I paid attention to the pulled weeds lying on the edge of the path. Each of them was a reminder of how that if those events had not occurred, I would not be on this present path…and I was grateful.
This is how the labyrinth looked when I exited…fewer standing weeds and the pulled ones waiting to be taken back to the Earth.
I originally thought that I should hike through the entire park (there are other “terrains” in this place: a boardwalk through a marsh, a pond, and a wooded area), but once I finished in the labyrinth I felt called to go someplace where there was water, especially with a waterfall.
Next stop? Corbett Glen Park…
I enjoyed reading this very much. It is true that the past influences the future, but sometimes, you have to let go of the past and take new paths for the future.