The tour included the labyrinth, of course, and our guide (the founder of the sanctuary -- a fascinating man) invited everyone to walk it.
I couldn't do it. Not with everyone else.
That labyrinth is the single most sacred spot on earth for me. When I enter it, I touch the deepest -- and most raw -- places in my heart and soul. I simply could not face embarking on that path with so many strangers around me. Maybe in the future. Not today.
Instead I stepped back into one of the shaded thickets so my lack of participation was less obvious, and offered prayers for those who were walking. Then I opened my eyes and let myself simply enjoy the beauty of the place and the day. When everyone had left the labyrinth, I took the broom and swept the entry stones.
The last time I went to the sanctuary, with Wolfling, we encountered two snakes. Today I had three squirrels come very close to me while I was alone. To me, squirrels have always meant play, and I took their presence with me as a message to lighten up and enjoy myself more, have some fun.
I slightly regret missing the potluck and getting the chance to talk more with folks, although I was getting "peopled out" after spending two hours with eleven strangers. I did, however, make a vital connection with a woman who is a celebrant for funerals for people who were not part of a specific faith tradition. Her service includes doing extensive interviews with family and friends and crafting a highly personalized eulogy, as well as leading the funeral service. We exchanged business cards, and are going to get in touch later.
I came home feeling a bit fried from the heat, the energetic and emotional side-effects of the tour, and the company, but am feeling much better after some Gatorade, a hair cut, a nap, and a 30-minute phone conversation with queenofhalves.