I used to be Episcopalian. And when I was, one of the churches I went to was the Church of the Holy Comforter in Burlington, NC. And I got suckered into being a member of the Adult Christian Education Committee. I’ve forgotten how that happened. But one of the things that was coming up was a labyrinth.
They (we) borrowed it from Holy Trinity in Greensboro. And the committee was responsible for tending to it.
I volunteered to take a day of personal leave from work to be there during the day on Friday. I had the time available and I was moved to do it. It was very similar to being moved to speak in Meeting with I was Quaker. It was the right thing to do at that time and I couldn’t choose any other way.
There were candles to keep lit and fountains to keep watered and CDs to keep playing. We had a blank book for people to write thoughts in as they finished with colored pencils and markers, should they need them. There was a bowl of stones for worrying as one walked. There were benches inside the door for taking off shoes, or meditating before or after starting.
People came and went all day as I sat at the entrance and tended to the bits and pieces.
Sometimes, they would walk alone. Sometimes, they found themselves walking together, stepping aside to let others pass. One man brought a book that he read at each turn.
I walked it by myself at the end of the day.
The Sunday after that weekend, we had a Sunday school class devoted to talking about the experience of walking the labyrinth. I was astounded to learn that some people got absolutely nothing from it. I had been moved, both by walking it and by tending it as others walked it. I recognize(d) that other people have different responses to things, but it amazed me that something that affected me so profoundly had not inspired a similar response in the Senior Warden.