Last winter, a friend of mine visited a labyrinth* and shared her unforgettable experience with me. After hearing her words, I feverishly searched online to locate one within my neck of the woods. Though I discovered several locations, one stood out among the rest. It was as if the labyrinth was calling out my name and summoning me to visit. I bookmarked the page and added it to my "to do" list. Six months later, I finally answered the call of the beckoning labyrinth and experienced my own adventure.
With a nutritious picnic packed and seat belts buckled, Nicolette, Rosa, and I began our drive out to Stallion Oaks Ranch to visit their renowned Labyrinth and Peace Pole. Despite the fact that we had little sleep the night before, we were eager to spend our afternoon exploring the 243-acre property. When we arrived at our exit, Nicolette reached for the directions and read aloud, "2.3 miles to Riverside Drive." The road twisted to the left, then coiled to the right. Back and forth the car cruised through the barren streets and lifeless town. Besides the occasional horse or cow pasturing in an empty field, the sweltering heat appeared to keep everyone indoors. "There's the sign post for Mile 2. We're almost there." Nicolette cheered. "Is that it?" Rosa inquired. "It looks closed."
Nicolette pulled the car over to the side of the road and we all piled out. "No way! It can't be closed." I pouted. "Let's walk over and check it out." Nicolette advised. Like animated school girls embarking on a field trip, we rushed over to the gate only to find it closed, chained, and locked. Next to the gate was a doorbell of sorts. Nicolette pressed the button numerous times, to no avail. The property looked as if it had been abandoned. From the street, we couldn't determine where the labyrinth or peace pole were located or if they still existed. "What now?" I asked, as I eye balled the six-foot tall barbed wire fence. "Now... we jump the fence." Rosa grinned. With our bellies grumbling and our mouths watering, we decided to enjoy our picnic inside the shaded car before scaling the fence. "So, we're really going to do this?" I posed, as I changed my footwear from flip flops to sneakers. "Oh yeah. We're doing this." Nicolette assured me. "It's an adventure, right?"
Taking a cue from Spider Man, Rosa jumped up and over the fence with total ease. "No problem." I said as I grabbed hold of the fence. "Hmmm... there's a problem." I laughed with my foot stuck in the fencing. "Do you need help?" Rosa asked. "Always." I blushed. As Rosa held the fence steady, I made my second attempt. After a few seconds of wobbling and trying to balance myself, I leapt to my feet like a cat with nine lives. Although Nicolette's attempt was smoother than my own, she cursed the barbed wire after it left marks on her legs.
With no map or tour guide, Nicolette and I followed as Rosa's intuition led. The property was quiet and unkempt with weeds and fallen leaves covering the ground below our feet. The path was barely visible, though Rosa didn't seem to mind. When we happened upon a crossroads, she simply pointed her finger and instructed, "Let's go this way." Trusting her guidance, we continued along and crossed a dilapidated bridge. Once over, we turned the corner and feasted our eyes before us. "There it is!" Rosa announced joyously. Our pace quickened and our eyes widened. The trees rustled in the wind as the birds serenaded our presence. "It's beautiful." I sang with delight. With Rosa still leading the way, she walked to the labyrinth's entry, took a deep breath, and started her voyage within. Standing at the entry, I closed my eyes and prayed. "Thank you for calling us here. I am ready to receive direction and guidance about my next step." With that, I inhaled deeply and took my first step.
Besides the crunch of the gravel beneath our feet, we walked through the labyrinth in complete silence. Slowly and confidently, I walked with my palms up and open to receive. When I arrived at the center, I sat on a stone bench facing the peace pole and meditated. The moment I closed my eyes, I experienced a powerful, pulling sensation before my third eye. It was as though someone was pulling energy from my forehead. In my mind, I observed what appeared to be a wind tunnel circulating in colors of red and blue. Simultaneously, a fly landed on my left palm and walked up and down, back and forth, along its entirety. I felt the words, "Fly free." When the colors disappeared, I opened my eyes and breathed in an intoxicating aroma. "Do you smell that?" I asked. "What do you smell?" Rosa inquired. It smells like perfume and incense at the same time. Sweet, yet spicy. There it is again. Do either of you smell it?" They both shook their heads as Rosa said, "It sounds like Kali Ma, the Hindu Goddess." I smiled, stood up, and placed my left hand on the peace pole. As I spun around the pole, like a child at play, I envisioned myself flying freely through the thirty four countries listed.
Refreshed and filled with peace, we each made our way back out through the labyrinth and continued on our adventure. When we came to a desolate lake and heard suspicious, eerie noises coming from the water, we decided that it was time to leave. Once again, Rosa and Nicolette hopped over the fence like professionals. While I attempted to duplicate their performance, the barbed wire had other plans and held me captive by my jeans. With Nicolette's help, I was freed. Even though my jeans received a rip as souvenir, my Soul received confirmation that my next step and every step thereafter, risky ones included, are always Divinely guided.
May YOU take the risk and follow your bliss as you walk YOUR Path of Life~
*Labyrinths are used for meditative walking, prayer, relaxation, ceremony and spiritual reflection. People of many different faiths and cultures have found clarity, peace and awakening while walking the path of the labyrinth. The path serves as a metaphor for ones life journey. The traveler journeys to the center of their deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who they truly are.