Labyrinth

by Daisy on 09/25/2015

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A friend’s furchild was going through cancer treatment and it wasn’t looking hopeful.

She wanted to walk a labyrinth.

I’d heard of one so we agreed that I would meet her at her house and we would go together and find it.

When I walked in the door I could see in her face, in her shoulders, it wasn’t good. He was already gone. She had made the decision that morning; it had been time.

We still went.

We loaded into my bedraggled station wagon, one of her supportive neighbors in tow, and we headed to the labyrinth, located in a cancer survivor’s park in the center of the eastern part of town.

The labyrinth was the medieval, Chartres-type, with eleven concentric paths around a central, six-petaled “goal.”

Wordlessly the three of us stepped onto the path in delayed sequence and began slowly looping around the folding trail. I walked softly and timidly, wondering what to expect, what to do and think.

It was, objectively, odd? Nonsensical?

As I followed the curves, the labyrinthine rhythm erased my self-consciousness.

We were walking.

We had a goal. We could see it. It was feet away.

The only real boundary was in our mind, in our obedience to the path.

One by one, we reached the goal.

Then we unwound, following the path again, leaving the goal behind.

One by one, we stepped out of the labyrinth.

This was good, my friend said.

It was good.

It was fall. The park itself was drained of color and the air was still, the sky overcast. We wandered around the park gardens, taking in the dried husk of a fertile summer. The beds were filled with flowers gone to seed. Spikes of coneflowers bristled a warning. Milkweed pods were bursting open and their flossy seeds were caught among the browning bindweed vines. Broken-necked zinnia blossoms nodded, haggard.

At the foot of the fence at the back border of the garden, I spotted what looked like a partial eggshell.  I stepped off the path, took a few tiptoed steps across the mulched bed, and collected my prize, a forsaken passionfruit. Its seeds were mostly dried but still had the hint of a tropical-sweet smell. I put it in the car, tucked under the driver’s seat in a Subway napkin.

Months passed and the winter was harsh. My friend moved, south.

In early spring, I found the remains of the passionfruit, now in crumbles of pith mixed with silky black seeds. I collected the bits and pieces and planted them along the fence, with Hail Mary expectations.

They grew.

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Blossomed.

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Fruited.

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They taste like magic.

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It’s fall again.

I don’t understand the labyrinth, but I want to walk it again, with my friend and her new puppy.

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–Daisy

 

 

 

 



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth W. September 27, 2015 at 4:43 am

Thank you for posting/sharing this <3.

Mark September 27, 2015 at 5:29 am

Awww, right there, ya got me… I went through cancer treatment out of town, and stayed at a “cancer house” with others on the journey. The grounds were awesome, the neighbourhood was great for walks, lots of cuttings… and I added them to my ‘memory garden’. My garden’s a mess, it reflects my memory well…

Amber, Head Pixie (@PixiesPocket) September 27, 2015 at 7:57 am

A sad, yet hopeful story! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

guesthouse dweller September 28, 2015 at 9:42 am

A wonderful story indeed, and wonderful to know that the one who has past is still with the fruit! Did you notice the beautiful full round orb in your fruit picture!! Hugs and Luv, your neighbor

Paulette September 29, 2015 at 6:36 pm

That was a lovely story and made me wish there was a labyrinth in the area I live. And that made me think of how I might help get one made in this area. So many ways walking a labyrinth can help a person. Maybe I’ll just try to get one made in my own back yard!

Daisy October 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Paulette–Thank you. 🙂 I’ve heard of lots of home labyrinth ideas. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Daisy October 1, 2015 at 8:32 pm

GHD–Spirit orb! 😉

Daisy October 1, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Mark–I love the idea of a memory garden. So many beautiful plants, only so much room in our lives for them.

Daisy October 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm

Beth W.–:)

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