Thursday, July 11, 2019

Serendipity at the Labyrinth

Something very magical happened at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth recently.

I was heading to Carleton Place to meet with our committee member Connie to help prepare the kindness rocks for the Summer Solstice Peace Walk that was being held on Friday, June 21st, 2019. Something told me to stop in at the labyrinth first - even though I would be a bit late.

As I got out of the car - I noticed that there was someone sitting on the contemplation ring around the labyrinth - very intent on his work. I was so happy to find out that it was the very moment in time that the stones were to be engraved in memory of our dear committee member Julia!
The first step for the stone engraving, tape the stencil to the stone.
The artisan explained that he learned his craft - from his grandfather and his father... And that his father had started out as a stone carver working on projects on Parliament Hill. He tried stone carving for a few months - but it did not resonate the way the sand blasting carving does. I asked for permission to take photos while he worked.
Julia lived in Africa for many years and loved it there. Her daughters chose three of her favourite animals as the images for the stone engraving. The word Chai means "tea" in Swahili.
"Tiari" means tea in Hindi.
"Pamoja" means "together"
Next step, out comes the portable sand blaster.
The stone carving artisan, intent on his work.
Interestingly - I also planned to walk the labyrinth - and was checking on the 200 labyrinth walks sign that is mounted on one of the picnic tables. As I went to check on it - Julia's name tag dropped onto the ground right beside my feet! It had been in the bag of supplies that I had in the car - not quite sure how it came to be right beside me???

SO I carried Julia's card with me as I walked the labyrinth today - saying this mantra:
I am strong; I am beautiful; I am blessed and I am loved.

After my walk I thanked Julia very much for being there with me!

As well - while I was walking there was a grandmother walking the contemplation ring - with her grandson in a baby carriage. Her daughter lives right across the street from the labyrinth and they come often - with her 2 year old granddaughter. They also have a big white cat - that comes to the labyrinth when we are having events. I was able to tell the Grandmother about Julia - and her husband Ted - and showed her the PAX engraved stones (in memory of Ted) - and the newly engraved African animal stones (in memory of Julia) . She really appreciated knowing the story behind the engraved stones.
Getting ready to remove the stencil.
The engraved memorial stone appears.
I love the strength and meaning of this image.
Some more information on the meaning of the words with the images - sent by Julia's daughter:We chose the words "chai tiari pamoja" because of what they signify for us. Mum and Dad often said "chai tiari" for tea time. We really thought that the phrase meant "tea time" but as we were deciding what to write on the stones, we found out both words actually mean "tea"! Chai is in Swahili and tiari in Hindi I think. Pamoja means "together" which we thought significant as well.

Trusting the Path!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

My Pilgrimage Journey

In January of 2019, I signed up once again to attempt the pilgrimage walk from Ottawa to Montreal with the organization Chemin des Outaouais. I tried the walk in 2018 and had to stop after walking for three days, due to an ankle injury. This year I inteneded to be more prepared - physically, mentally and spiritually.
I am determined to try the long walk to Ottawa to Montreal again in 2019.
I ended up doing 416 km of training walks - starting in January and increasing the frequency of my walking, especially in April and May. I often walked with my backpack (with a weight of 8 to 10 lb).  I would walk twice during the week - approx. 6 - 8 km - with a rest day in between. And then do two longer walks (10 - 14 km) back to back.  And I mostly walked on my own. Although I could have gone on training walks with Chemin des Outaouais, the Rideau Trail group and/or the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims.

I also re-read two books by local authors: Walking for Peace and Walking Alone, A Pilgrim's Guide to the Inner Journey.  And was fortunate to also be able to attend a talk on mentally preparing for a pilgrimage journey given by Mony Dojeiji. This approach led to some profound and simple insights - that propelled me to have an amazing journey and to successfully complete my pilgrimage journey this year!
"Walking Alone" describes how to prepare mentally and spiritually for your pilgrimage journey.
The following song was written collaboratively with my walking companions on the second last night of our journey. Of note, I was the only Anglophone and the rest of my companions were Francophones. Much of the walk I was immersed in the language, culture and joie de vivre of Quebec. This song is a joyful celebration of many of our experiences and honours both languages!

Our Walking Song

Un autre groupe part d' Ottawa
The eleventh group of pilgrims
Christine, Chantal et Line
Marius et Julie
Font connaissance sur le parvis!
The eleventh group of pilgrims - L to R - Chantal, Line, Christine, Julie and Marius
"A gust of wind
A glass of wine
It must be close
To 5 à 7 time !" 
The perfect way to celebrate a long day of walking!
Un pas à la fois
Y’a les lièvres et les tortues
Et le porc-épic épicurien
Qui pense aux fromages et au vin !
We enjoy our wine and cheese a couple of nights along "the way"
Du bar au presbytère
Attention sur le parterre
Crotin, bouse et même crote
Y aurait-il des odeurs dans la grotte ?

Mais  l’esprit du chemin y est
On marche, on chante, on prie
Messe et vêpres à l'abri
Et ça ronfle à minuit !
We see one of my yellow Camino mosaic arrows along the path.
Simplifier, simplifier – go with the flow
Walking, eating (drinking), sleeping
"We are strong – we are beautiful
We are blessed – we are loved"
I am filled with joy as I walk each day :)
"Je ne connais aucun chagrin
Duquel la marche ne vient à bout" ¹
La solidarité du groupe s'est tissé
En taxi, en bateau et à pied

Chacun ses raisons, chacun son chemin
Chacun ses défis, chacun son refrain
On finit par se comprendre
On se fait t’chin t’chin
En se regardant dans les yeux
Walking and talking makes each day special.
And we shared love with everyone
 we met along “the way”
Christine, Reine, Diane, Jean-Guy, Claude "the chef", Monique, Soeur Pauline, Père Secours, Père Demers, Soeur Mariette, Charles (Curé),
and all the others
And the backpack carriers...
Complete strangers help us along the way.
Thuso, Rigaud, Chute-à-Blondeau, Montebello
C’est notre camino

Ottawa, Oka, Oratoire
C’est le sentier de l’espoir

Laval, L'Orignal, Montréal
Un chemin bien special

Le chemin embaumé des lilas,
The colours, the scent, the perfume!
We thank our hosts along the way - for the rest stops and conversation.
Quebec-Ontario – Y’a rien de trop beau
Jours en Français
Jours en Anglais

306 km plus loin
On célébre notre victoire enfin! 
We are thrilled to arrive at St. Joseph's Oratory - the end of our pilgrimage journey (or the beginning?)!

Christine,  Chantal, Marius,  Julie et Line


¹Soren Kierkegaard

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Believe and Receive What You Need!

For our World Labyrinth Day event this year,  held on Saturday May 4, 2019  - I decided to go a bit early. I wanted to make sure we were ready, as Mayor Doug Black was coming to help launch our special "200 Labyrinth Walk for CP200" event. I also did not know if I would have any volunteers to help with the set up.  As I was driving, I said a silent prayer and trusted that I would have the help that I needed.
I trusted that I would have the help that I needed.
Once there, two women appeared around the corner of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. It turned out they were coming to the walk, they were members of the Ottawa Labyrinth Guild, and they weren't quite sure why they arrived so early! They promptly asked me if there was anything they could do to help. Another very serendipitous moment at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth.
So thankful that I had help from humans (and cats) to set up for our WLD event.
The photos from that day help to further tell the story. Thanks to Mayor Doug Black for your ongoing support of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth. And thanks to all who attended and walked with the over 5,000 people who walked labyrinths world-wide at that moment in time!
Walking a labyrinth can help you to achieve a feeling of inner peace.

Mayor Doug Black cuts the ribbon to officially launch "200 Labyrinth Walks for CP 200"
Carleton Place Community Labyrinth is proud to participate in World Labyrinth Day, along with more than 5,000 other participants globally!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

World Labyrinth Day Walk

World Labyrinth Day Walk at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth on May 4th, 2019
PLUS
Help Kick-off 200 Labyrinth Walks for CP 200!

Join us on Saturday May 4th, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. as we officially open the Carleton Place Community labyrinth for the season.  We will "Walk as One at 1 PM" in celebration of World Labyrinth Day. And to help celebrate and honour Carleton Place’s 200th Anniversary – we will be launching “200 Labyrinth Walks for CP200”.

Whenever someone walks the CP Community Labyrinth from May 4th to September 13th in 2019, they will be encouraged to record their participation. We are hoping to meet our goal of 200 labyrinth walks by Friday, September 13th, 2019– and will celebrate our achievement during our annual “Light up the Labyrinth” event.

Record your labyrinth walk on the CP200 poster at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth.
If you are new to the labyrinth experience, this Saturday walk will be a perfect introduction for you. Information about the history, benefits and unique aspects of the labyrinth will be available onsite.

World Labyrinth Day, declared in 1998 by The Labyrinth Society, brings people together globally to recognize the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for healing and peace.  This will be the 11th annual World Labyrinth Day, as we join individuals or groups around the globe who will walk their local labyrinths at 1:00 pm in their local time zones.  This world-wide event included walks in over 35 countries last year, and it is estimated that more than 5,000 people participated.

Labyrinths exist in many forms, in places as diverse as Peru, Iceland, Egypt, France, and the United Kingdom. There are more than 4,000 labyrinths active today. Some labyrinths have been built on private lands, while others, like the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth, have been created as a public space for all to enjoy. 

The Community Labyrinth is located at the corner of George and Baines Streets, beside the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum. The labyrinth was built in 2010, and construction was made possible by the Town of Carleton Place, individual, business & community sponsors, and a Trillium Foundation grant.

For more information contact Christine Hume:
613-859-2136 or email christinehume@bell.net
Help create a rolling wave of peace as people around the world walk a labyrinth at 1 PM on May 4th.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Sunrise Labyrinth Walk on Earth Day

I made sure to get up very early on Earth Day in order to get to the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth in time for our 6 AM sunrise walk.  The moment I got outside I was treated to a view of the beautiful waning full moon surrounded by a soft white glow. And upon arrival at the labyrinth I enjoyed the sounds of bird song all around me. I quietly walked around the labyrinth on the contemplation ring as I prepared for my walk.
A view of the waning full moon from the labyrinth on Earth Day.



The labyrinth cat circles the Celtic Pashcal candle several times and reaches out to the light.
As I was walking, three others arrived and started walking the labyrinth at their own pace. The labyrinth cat also appeared and after greeting me, went to inspect the glowing candle. We gathered at the standing stones at entrance to the labyrinth after the walk and had a wonderful conversation and discovered interesting connections. Here is one of the poems that was recited to close this very special walk.

 Packing for the Future: Instructions by Lorna Crozier
Take the thickest socks.
Wherever you're going
you'll have to walk.

There may be water.
There may be stones.
There may be high places
you cannot go without
the hope socks bring you,
the way they hold you
to the earth.

At least one pair must be new,
must be as blue as a wish
hand-knit by your mother
in her sleep.

Take a leather satchel,
a velvet bag and an old tin box--
a salamander painted on the lid.

This is to carry that small thing
you cannot leave. Perhaps the key
you've kept though it doesn't fit
any lock you know,
the photograph that keeps you sane,
a ball of string to lead you out
though you can't walk back
into that light.

In your bag leave room for sadness,
leave room for another language.

There may be doors nailed shut.
There may be painted windows.
There may be signs that warn you
to be gone. Take the dream
you've been having since
you were a child, the one
with open fields and the wind
sounding.

Mistrust no one who offers you
water from a well, a songbird's feather,
something that's been mended twice.
Always travel lighter
than the heart.

~ from What the Living Won't Let Go (McClelland & Stewart Inc, 1999)



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Pilgrimage Notes and the Yellow Arrows Project (Part 4)

Part 1
Part 2
Continued from Part 3
Day three of my pilgrimage walk dawned.  Today I would be walking 20.4 km from Masson to Thurso, Quebec.  My walking group was made up of people who had very different approaches to their pilgrimage journey. Young Nathaniel left first, very kindly carrying my mosaic supplies with him - to help lighten my load. His goal was to complete the walk as quickly as possible, at a 6 km per hour pace.  He reached our next overnight destination, l'église St-Jean-l'Évangeliste, by 10 am that morning.  Isabelle and her friend left next, following the high level instructions on their phones, they wanted to walk quickly - and in doing so - missed the notes about the rest stop à la ferme Val-Champs.
It was nice that my other fellow pilgrim Jacques and I were on the same wavelength - we were not in a rush and were open to experience whatever drew our attention along the way. We arrived at our destination around 6 pm that day. Following are some of the highlights from along the way...
We see a Canada Goose and white goose swimming together.
  • We see a Canada Goose and white goose hanging around together and dub them "the odd couple" 
  • While walking through Buckingham - we are accompanied by three women on their way to the gym - they wish us a "beun Camino" 
    The yellow arrow marks the way to the rest stop at the Val-Champs Farm.
  • We had a very special rest stop at the Val-Champs Farm. Our hostess served us a strawberry drink, tea, hard-boiled eggs and chocolate and we rested for an hour or two. We played with her silver tabby kitten. And chatted about living simply and fully and enjoying retirement. We really enjoyed the "deep dot of time" that day. A true pilgrim experience!
    We enjoy a special cider tasting at an artisinal Ciderie.
  • We stopped at the Scottish cemetery, went to see if the Violin teacher was at home and went to Verger Croque Pomme for a cider tasting.
Sadly my right ankle started to bother me through the night and by the next morning I was hobbling and with great difficulty decided to stop walking. I had an inflamed tendon and needed to rest and do physio for it to get better and stronger. My first reaction was sheer disappointment, while I was told to have no expectations going on this long walk, I found that I had expected to finish it and get to Montreal.

I went through a period of feeling very sorry for myself. Then I had an epiphany! I would still honor the rest of the time that I would have been walking and stay on pilgrimage. I could use this time in my studio to finished the yellow mosaic arrows that I had been carrying with me. I joyfully began puttering in my studio. And as I calmed down and started to create a wonderful idea occurred to me. I would head out on a journey and visit some places and people I had wanted to get to on my journey. And I would deliver finished yellow mosaic arrows along the way, especially to my fellow walkers.

In hindsight - this day gave me the sense of closure that I needed - to let go of any expectations I might have had - and to truly appreciate every aspect of my pilgrimage experience.
I would deliver finished yellow Camino mosaic arrows to my fellow walkers.
I walk the grass labyrinth at the Ashram near Montebello. I am filled with peace at the beauty I find there.

I leave a gift for my fellow walkers at the door of their residence at the Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in Rigaud.

My fellow walkers with their Camino mosaic arrows at the end of their walk. They send me a message to let me know that I was with them in spirit every step of the way!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

World Labyrinth Day PLUS Kick-off 200 Labyrinth Walks for CP200


Join us on Saturday May 4th, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. as we officially open the Carleton Place Community labyrinth for the season.  We will "Walk as One at 1 PM" in celebration of World Labyrinth Day. And to help celebrate and honour Carleton Place’s 200th Anniversary – we will be launching “200 Labyrinth Walks for CP200”.

Whenever someone walks the CP Community Labyrinth from May 4th to September 13th in 2019, they will be encouraged to record their participation. We are hoping to meet our goal of 200 labyrinth walks by Friday, September 13th, 2019, and will celebrate our achievement during our annual “Light up the Labyrinth” event.

If you are new to the labyrinth experience, this Saturday walk will be a perfect introduction for you. Information about the history, benefits and unique aspects of the labyrinth will be available onsite.

World Labyrinth Day, declared in 1998 by The Labyrinth Society, brings people together globally to recognize the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for healing and peace.  This will be the 11th annual World Labyrinth Day, as we join individuals or groups around the globe who will walk their local labyrinths at 1:00 pm in their local time zones.  This world-wide event included walks in over 35 countries last year, and it is estimated that more than 5,000 people participated.

Labyrinths exist in many forms, in places as diverse as Peru, Iceland, Egypt, France, and the United Kingdom. There are more than 4,000 labyrinths active today. Some labyrinths have been built on private lands, while others, like the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth, have been created as a public space for all to enjoy. 

The Community Labyrinth is located at the corner of George and Baines Streets, beside the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum. The labyrinth was built in 2010, and construction was made possible by the Town of Carleton Place, individual, business & community sponsors, and a Trillium Foundation grant.

For more information contact:
Christine Hume: christinehume@bell.net or 613-859-2136



Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Community Events 2019

In the midst of this current cold snap, my mind is wandering to the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth and the joy and special feeling that comes from walking it - either on my own, or with a group at our various special events throughout the year. Looking forward to meeting you on the path!

The Carleton Place Community labyrinth has become a very special and peaceful space.
Here is the list of our planned events for 2019. Save the dates!

Monday April 22 sunrise “Earth Day Walk “ 6 am
Sunrise labyrinth walk, breakfast afterwards

Saturday May 4th 2019 “World Labyrinth Day” 1 pm
Labyrinth opening ceremony and family walk

Friday June 21st 2019 "Summer Solstice Walk
for Peace" 7 pm


Friday Sept 13 2019 "Light up the Labyrinth"
Your help needed
Set up 6:30 pm/Walk 7:30 pm

Sunday Oct 13 2019 Full Moon Walk 7 pm

Donations in support of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth programming are gratefully accepted.

For more information contact:
Christine Hume
Volunteer Labyrinth Keeper
Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator
christinehume@bell.net
Cel: 613 859 2136





 

Pilgrimage Notes and the Yellow Arrows Project (Part 3)

Part 1
Continued from Part 2
The second day we headed out early and journeyed 16.8 km from Orleans to Masson, QC. Jacques and I stopped at a Starbucks in Orleans for a washroom break - and were fortunate to meet a couple that had spent many months walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. They knew we were pilgrims from our attire and backpacks. We had a wonderful, spontaneous, soul conversation sharing stories and learning from their experiences!
We have Camino-like experiences along the "Chemain des Outaouais"
And as we started walking again we saw a solo pilgrim walking towards us. He had a beautiful, gnarled walking stick and was traveling very lightly. He had been walking for several days and was heading into Ottawa last we saw him.
We take the Masson ferry on foot!
Next up was crossing over to the Quebec side on the Masson ferry and we slowly and mindfully made our way to our next overnight destination. We took time to rest in a park by a Church and eventually stayed in a guest house avec les Souers de Sainte-Marie.
Souer Rollande Lamoureux stamps our pilgrimage passports.
I arrived at the guest house first - and selected the room that had space for me to work on my yellow mosaic arrow project. I stayed up too late - finishing off my first yellow arrow. And I had to be very careful to leave the desk as clean and tidy as I had found it - knowing that the nuns are very particular about cleanliness!

I thought I was going to create the arrows and leave them along the path. But I realized instead that I was meant to give them to special people that were an important part of my journey.  I decided to gift the first yellow arrow to Souer Rollande Lamoureux - as a thank you for staying in this restful place.

To be continued...
A desk in my room becomes my temporary mosaic studio.
I leave one of the yellow arrows for Sister Rollande.