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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Walking Labyrinths

This is my first post of 2016. After almost of a month of no entries I wasn’t sure if I would come back to blogging, or if I would leave it for a longer time. I realized writing a weekly blog helps me focus, connect, commit. I am returning to this forum intending a weekly entry to share my thoughts and meanderings. I welcome you, and hope you will respond in your own way; commenting, reposting or just visiting with me on the page. 

Walking Labyrinths

Saturday morning in the still cold not quite yet light four of us walked the labyrinth behind the retreat center. The ground was lightly snow covered and we followed the footprints from someone’s foray the night before. At least in the places where they had not been vanished by the wind. No matter, we stumbled a bit but arrived to the center where we paused one at a time to offer up, beseech, envision whatever we had carried in and then wound our way out and into the day.

Over a year ago in the crisp New Mexico November of Ghost Ranch I had walked a labyrinth with some of the same women. Winding our way in with silence and our way back out again. The geographies could not be more different, this  southern mid west winter forest, furrowed fields, slatted barns. The high desert ochres and blues, the bones of the earth jutting from the land. In the time between I have counted deaths and illness, births and lucky successes, challenges and fortune, and this just within one group of women.

I’m asked what is it you do on a writing retreat?  The obvious of course is that we make time for uninterrupted writing, alone and in small groups, words both shared and not. What we do is to create a community, however temporary, a team for an independent endeavor,  place of ease for an otherwise solitary pursuit.

Each walk in the labyrinth reminds me that our everyday roads are not so well marked. We walk with the grace we can muster all the way in and the way back out again.

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