September 11 is my mother's birthday (she passed in 2006) as well as a day to honor those who lost their lives in 2001. I decided to do a walking meditation to honor both by visiting the local labyrinth, tucked into a mountain cove not far from my house.
I took with me a stone, engraved with the word peace, a sunflower from my garden and a scrap of paper with Happy Birthday Mom written on it. It was the perfect day - blue sky, a hint of fall in the air and brilliant sunshine. Not a soul was nearby - I had the place to myself. I placed the stone at the entrance which is guarded by twin trees. The path in is littered with stones, trinkets and personal items placed there by many who use this lovely labyrinth.
I walked slowly and deliberately, chanting silently to the center. I placed my flower next to and tucked my note under a small statue of Kwan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion, wishing my mom a very Happy 94th Birthday. I spent a few minutes in the center rotating around to take in all of the details of this serene wooded setting and began my slow walk out, stopping to pick up a tiny spotted feather I had not noticed before. I took the feather as a good sign, for birds are symbols that connect this world with the next. My mother got her message, I felt.
When I got home I sat outside on the deck for a while watching the birds at the feeder and a brilliant orange butterfly hovered over my heart and stopped there for the briefest moment before fluttering away. I was delighted - I felt I had been visited by a sprite or fairy!
I have been thinking of making a change in my life and this seemed to tell me to go with it - butterflies mean transformation and change and so does the color orange. Orange also means creativity which fits perfectly with my dreams of change. Nature talks to us if we only stop to listen.
The labyrinth is available for all to use during daylight hours and lies on the property of a private residence. They offer alternative healings at and labyrinth retreats. Please do visit their web site to learn more - The Labyrinth Center.