On Saturday, I spent several hours gardening in a labyrinth.
Now, I am not a gardener. My rooftop patio has not a plant on it (except for that weird thing growing in one corner that I didn’t plant). It is decorated with art and beach treasures and other things that don’t die and don’t need water.
But I love labyrinths. I love the twist and the turns. I love that you lose the path and have only faith that you will end up somewhere. I love that just when you are lost, you find the centre. And, I love that each labyrinth has it’s own energy – a heady mix from all the people who have journeyed within it plus the energy of the land that it resides upon.
So I volunteered to help garden the labyrinth. And the job on Saturday was to clear away last year’s growth, now dead. And, we cleared a lot!!
As I ripped out the dead old branches and leaves, clearing space, I realized how much new growth was hidden under the weight of that old growth. New shoots, green and fresh, reaching for the sky and the sun. In amidst the dead, there was life.
As I carried armful after armful of old branches over to the compost pile, I thought what a perfect metaphor for life this was. Because we have to clear away the old to make room for the new. The old growth blocks the space that the new growth needs.
Some of the old branches came out easily. Others, especially the vine-type growth that snaked it’s way through the grass, required more effort. And, it all went into the compost pile to make new soil. And so it is with each truth about myself I learn and relearn. Some are easy and fun. Some are pretty twisty and tough!
Often times, I think we lament the old. And certainly there can be a grieving process in letting go of the past. But, it too was once the growth that we revelled in and which nourished us. Growth builds upon growth.
In those sunny hours working in the labyrinth, I was grateful for the reminder that clearing away the old is a necessary part of making space for the new.
Oh, and that it is hard work and you should definitely stretch afterward if you want to be able to use your muscles again the next day.