The Winding Path

When I arrive at the prayer labyrinth, I step out of my sandals, feel the sharp edge of a branch under my heel, the smooth plane of rock. I walk slowly, try to notice the soles of my feet, the earth holding me up. I wind along the path, feeling like a living metaphor for almost everything, mothering, faith, life. Lost and confused, not sure where I’m headed, I try to trust that the path will lead me to the centre of something bigger than myself. I notice the clover growing in between the stones, perfect and gorgeous, small hearts bursting with the greenness of life. I notice flowers crafted like ornaments, complex red and purple bells, tassels, bulbs. I cry easily, at the beauty of it, the sorrow of it, the images of my daughter alone on the playground, the fears of last night’s headlines. I return to my feet, my careful stepping, suspect that walking in this holy place among these growing things might be the only truth I need. I find my way to the centre, kneel on the stone cross, touch my forehead to the ground and breathe. I lay spotted leaves into a pattern, notice someone before me has left a yellow bouquet. I wonder if spirituality is greener and earthier than we realize.

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