Walking in the World

Holidays

Threading the Maze

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December is flying by, and we have been out and about, travelling to Spain and Italy to both broaden our research and deepen our connections with friends and fellow labyrinth enthusiasts. But despite being physically out in the world, I am feeling particularly quiet and pulled-in this year. 2016 has been a year of extremes – great travel and deep pilgrimage has woven through alarming world events. My quiet soul is struggling to make sense of it all, and putting words into blogs has been an overwhelming challenge.

I have never felt so uncertain, so lost in the maze of conflict and confusion. And yet…. I feel gifted by unexpected opportunities and privileges. There are horrible atrocities taking place on our planet, but at the same time my world is filled with sparks of light that set my heart ablaze.

We will close the Labyrinthos HQ office tomorrow, as is our custom – from Solstice to New Year, we allow ourselves to snuggle in by the fire, eat good food, watch movies, talk over memories and come up with new plans and ideas.

Let’s welcome 2017 together, taking one step at a time into whatever comes next. Labyrinthos will introduce a new face to its online presence, and I’ll be catching you up on some of our 2016 adventures here on Walking in the World.

May we find new ways of spreading joy and love this holiday season!

Photo above is an old Christmas card from the Netherlands, part of our extensive collection of labyrinthine ephemera.

20 Dec 2016

Great Socks of Love

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Candy corn is a contentious subject- you love it or you hate it, and rarely is anyone happy to agree to disagree. I love it, a fondness I owe to my dad – or so the story goes. As I have told you on past Halloweens, after the trick-or-treaters have gone home I make an effort to celebrate the sacred nature of Samhain by setting up a small altar to honour my ancestors. They say the veil is thinnest on this night, and I want them to know they are welcome in my home and my life, to know that I recognize my lineage and the roles they have played in shaping who I have become in this lifetime. Usually, I put out a few kernels of candy corn and some roasted cashews for my father, a glass of red wine for my mother, and a small assortment of little items that connect me to others who have passed on before me.

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This year I have no little stash of candy corn to draw from – and it’s one of those things I just can’t buy over here. I do, however, have a new version that is calorie and contention free: candy corn socks!

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Stitched by a knitterly BFF who knows my story and traditions, they will accompany me through the rest of my Halloweens, bridging old family with new, weaving them together with love and creativity. Candy corn socks…. who knew?

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31 Oct 2016

Small World

There is a small airport only 15 minutes from our house, and 40 minutes after take-off, you can be landing in Amsterdam – a different country, different language, different culture, different geography. How amazing is that? It is one of the privileges of my expat status, this opportunity of travelling to beautiful places to visit dear friends who live in intriguing land. Visits like this make the world seems small and precious. Away from the whirlwind of tourist hotspots, I meet people whose lives brush up against mine in pleasant and gentle ways, sometimes with surprising feelings and outcomes.

 I am spending a few days with my friend, Els, whom you have already met in these posts. We are chilling together, two good friends spending quality time together, with no agenda other than to enjoy each other’s company.  Leaving home at the crack of dawn allowed me to be in Baarn in time for mid morning coffee! 

We spent yesterday chatting, walking, and browsing the local farm shop for local produce and meat. Simple pleasures! I love feeling at home here in her village, enjoy feeling familiar with the roads and houses and gardens. There are always new and interesting things to see, but sometimes what is most important is not the differences between us, but the samenesses. I am using that non-word very purposely. Our houses are different, our hearts thrill and swell, break and throb for similar reasons. Our lives and customs are different, our dreams are not.

11 Aug 2016

Happy Easter Monday

   The crochet crew at Bodkins treated our village to a bit of woolly whimsy and colour this weekend. 

I  am learning to appreciate the very long weekend that is the British Easter holiday. It starts on Friday (aka Good Friday) and continues through Easter Monday, by which time I am feeling over-chocolated and despairing of ever seeing the mailman again. I chafe against the lack of separation of church and state, but embrace the chance to  to take a few days off to spend time with both family and nature, and to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Happy Easter everyone! May the newness of the season resonate in your soul and find expression in your heart. I hope that this weekend has been an opportunity for you to celebrate what matters to you, with the people you love.

28 Mar 2016

Leap!

File 01-03-2016, 15 03 15

February 29

Something significant hovers just ahead.
Today the girl can ask the boy, the woman the man,
with marriage the prize.
I have no need to ask that question;
I am partnered already
and am beyond the age of looking.
But, like the dewy eyed girl,
I long to ask the questions
not usually permitted.
Will you? Can we? Dare I?
Dare I strip my soul naked
by professing my desire?
Can I offer my heart, soul, and flesh
to a flow I cannot control?

I tell myself to consider well:
What do you court?
What wants inviting?
Or, in other parlance –
What do you most want to do
before you die?
What matters?
Make your choice –

And leap!

29 Feb 2016

Be Mine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb 2016

Farewell to 2015

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As we’ve done for the past several years, we are cozied in with our granddaughter, Lucy, to celebrate New Year’s Eve in our own quiet way. She arrives in the afternoon, we eat pizza for dinner, and usually fall asleep well before midnight (we’re all such party animals….). This evening we roasted chestnuts in the wood stove, then lit off fireworks in our back garden. Tomorrow morning, we will head out into countryside for an adventure that we hope will set the tone for the year ahead.

I have some exciting blogland plans for 2016, but will be waiting til mid-February to turn them live and invite the world. In the meantime, I will continue my walking in the world, and hope that you will continue to join me here. I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement you give me as I share my world with you — this simple blog has been life-changing as I’ve learned to notice the beauty and magic that surround me.

Farewell 2015!

Fireworks

 

31 Dec 2015

Quiet Days

Moon

The days are short now. I’m feeling a bit better, but not yet ready to be out and about, so we’re settling into a quiet routine, enjoying our Christmas decorations and the snugness of our home. We’ve been collecting ornaments since the beginning of our relationship, and now have  a collection of memories to hang on our tree. Many are handmade, some of them came to us as gifts, and others we’ve bought on our travels to remind of us of special people and places. This illuminated moon came to us from California in 2010 when I took Jeff to see the Petaluma marvel that is Marisa’s Christmas Fantasia.

30 Dec 2015

Duvet Days

Books

The time between Christmas and New Year are traditionally my time for moving in an inward direction, and my body has compelled me to follow that theme again this year. I’ve been felled with an infection, and am spending the week curled up with a stack of books.

What’s on your reading list these days?

28 Dec 2015

Nativity!

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For unto us, a child is born…

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Spotted at the top of Rayleigh High Street

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Happy Christmas, one and all!

25 Dec 2015

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