In the middle of the afternoon I put on my jacket, stashed my camera in my pocket and ventured outside. Off in the lower side yard is a labyrinth marked by stones. I was pleased to find I was the only one there.
In the middle, I noticed a mound – largely of small stones, some small pieces of driftwood, a golf ball, and a crucifix. I got the message: what would I bring to Jesus? I looked around, initially thinking I would seek out the perfect stone. And then I realized I could not bring the perfect stone, I could only bring a stone that was me. I zeroed in on a small stone that had been split in half somewhere along its journey; this is what I took to offer.
I walked slowly, paying attention to my pace and from time to time looking up to see a passing car or a neighborhood person walking by on the street. I neared the offertory mound – but wait, I was not yet there. I thought I had arrived but I had not. There was a bit further to go; patience was required. Then I was at the center and I placed my token stone.
I started to retrace my steps back out. At one point I started to look ahead and then I realized that we cannot do that in life, we cannot anticipate the next turn, and that in labyrinth walking, it’s cheating – cheating the walker of the experience. There too, in the tracks of the labyrinth, were occasional droppings of goose poop. It’s the same way in life…
From there I walked back up the ramp to another path that lead down toward the water. At the orientation meeting last night our “house mom” asked us to do our best to stay on the Center’s property – down from the labyrinth and to the left of that. She said somewhat sarcastically that the (grumpy) next door neighbor was concerned that if everyone took stones from the beach there would be no more stones. As I walked over the stone beach I laughed (quietly!) out loud – how ludicrous the concern. I took a photo of God’s abundance in stone and then turned away from the neighbor’s direction to be certain I was on “our” property as I began my own stone hunt.
I’ve always referred to smoothed stones like this as river rocks. If that’s what these are, the Atlantic is one big river :-) I searched for relatively small, smooth stones in varied colors. I had six in my hand. For as long as I can remember I have not liked even numbers so I decided to select a seventh – one for every day of the week…re-creating creation! Do I know just what I’ll do with them once I am back in the sound-filled life I call home and work? No, I don’t. But I have this hope that they might call me back to this time, and all I’m experiencing. (And I have to share that as I “posed” my stones for a photo op back in my room it occurred to me that some people might think me soft – and I did not care!)