We love Canterbury; it’s an old city that never disappoints, no matter what the purpose for our visit. Our primary reason for this trip was to stay with a colleague who is also dear friend. We are all busy people, so most of our visits are built on business meetings with our friendship growing up in between the items on our respective agendas. This visit, however, worked in reverse. We were invited to come just for the fun of it, and while we were there we indulged in a bit of labyrinth walking and community building simply because that is what we all love doing.
After a lovely lunch, we headed out along a portion of the old Pilgrimage Way heading towards Canterbury Christ Church University where we met up with Sonia Overall, a writer and walker who was instrumental in getting a labyrinth mown into the grass in one of the university gardens. The 7-circuit labyrinth is quite stunning, and I’m sure it will become well-loved and oft-walked over the course of the spring and summer.
As I walked the sweeping paths, I felt myself deepen. I love the feeling of losing track on my place on the path, surrendering to the rhythm of simply placing one foot after the other. It is in that place of non-vigilance that I often hear my own voice welling up from within. It is there that I am most able to touch my writerly soul. Poetry arranges itself in my head, essays find new direction, words dance with fresh partners.
After coffee, we wandered through the University bookstore where I quickly located a shelf of Sonia’s books, including this one which insisted on coming home with me. I feel inspired. Energized. Companioned.
And from there we headed through old neighbourhoods where wit and history combined to tell an ageless story, and in my next post I will share our evening walk down into the old walled city with its spectacular cathedral that has drawn pilgrims to its heart for centuries.