The River and the Labyrinth

What a different place the river is when summer officially ends!

The air was crisp, and when I arrived at the parking lot, there was not a car or a person in sight.

I was a little disoriented at first. The water levels had risen, so the rocks I normally sit on were partially submerged. Yet, it was so peaceful. The river looked like a plate of glass and the sky, the clouds, and the trees were reflected in it.

I could hear the joy and freedom in every bird singing back and forth on both sides of the river. I could not bear to leave after my meditations, but I needed to go teach. On my way out one lone kayaker arrived and I simply said to him: "You have the river all to yourself." He smiled broadly in simply acknowledgment. We shared a moment of deep knowing: We both sought the same solace here.

Around noon I headed off to walk the labyrinth, something I have hardly found the time to do this year. I met a friend who is a member of the church where I walk the labyrinth, and then we met up with someone she knows and whom I have met before.

I entered the labyrinth, very mindful of how it is a metaphor for our path in life. And while I could see where that path would take me, I walked it with a sense of restlessness and no direction - not really feeling like I knew where I was going.

The center was peaceful as it always is. I wanted to stay there forever, recalling the headstand and handstand I had done there the last couple of times I had walked it.

My friend's friend is a kayaker and was also at one point a yoga teacher - so over lunch we spoke of these shared experiences acknowledging how we were both drawn to the more contemplative dimensions of both practices.

In truth, it was a wonderful way to usher in a new season, new undertakings, and bring closure to the summer and the past.

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