No Dead ends……..Just Another turn…….
I was introduced to the labyrinth almost 20 years ago during my years in Atlanta, GA. My friend Christina taught me to draw the 7 circuit labyrinth and I have had fun drawing it all over the place; in parking lots with chalk, on walls, in my journals, with paint on many kinds of canvas and on sandy beaches.
Recently I took a little vacation with my beautiful daughters, Pera and Brianna, and Ty, Pera’s boyfriend. The four of us stayed at a gorgeous cabin just north of Victoria BC. Our cabin overlooked a little beach that no one else was going to. On our last morning of holiday, I had a longing to go and create a labyrinth on the fresh sand that the tide had just washed clean.
As I was about to leave the cabin, Ty offered to come with me and go for a cold morning dip in the ocean. We walked down the steep path and then climbed over rocks filled with hundreds of clams to the clearing of beach. It was quiet except for the flow of the ocean.
I found a large stick to help me and Ty waded out to the water. I drew and Ty swam. As he came back to shore we both looked at the labyrinth I had been creating and I realized something was wrong. Ty said, ‘there is a dead-end’. And I realized I HAD made a dead-end.
But I was confused, because….there are NO dead-ends on a labyrinth!! I told Ty, ‘I’ve made a mistake…because there are no dead-ends on a labyrinth…only turns’.
As soon as I said that out loud I could feel my heart say, ‘remember that Cathy!’ And so I did. I drew out a smaller labyrinth beside and realized where I had gone wrong. I erased certain lines in the sand and brought all the lines into the way they were meant to be. In this picture, you can see where sand has been ‘erased’ and then brought into the right symmetry.
And so we walked the labyrinth, first myself, and then Ty. Listening to the ocean, connecting with the landscape around us, gently walking this path of sand. And I kept pondering – ‘there are no dead-ends’. What if we lived that way? What if we understood that there are no dead-ends on the path of life? On this soul journey? There is only passage, only possibility? Only another turn in the road?
Dead-ends feel so….well, dead! Hopeless. No chance of creativity, possibility, or change. When we believe we are at a dead-end, we lose heart.
One of the mentors in my life continues to say this line: The Infinite is infinite in possibility.
Infinite possibility. Infinite love. Infinite beauty. Infinite creativity.
I know many times in my life I have lost hope and felt that I was at a dead end. And I’m sure I will feel that way again. But when I have stopped and allowed my heart to open to Love, I have become aware of something deeper than myself. I have become aware that there can be a greater story to the small story I am seeing.
Love leads me. Love guides me. Love teaches me to open, to trust, to yield, to surrender my not-knowing into a place beyond where my mind can figure everything out. Love is what propels me forward, to hold the possibility that the Infinite is infinite with possibility….even in suffering, even in loss, even when I do not understand.
The labyrinth has become such an amazing teacher to my heart over the past 20 years. And once again, it taught me to be aware of when my thinking leads me to a place of being in a ‘dead-end’ and where perhaps instead I can continue to open to Love.