Monday, June 10, 2024

Coming Home to the Labyrinth

I decided to go an a special journey this past summer and took myself on a retreat to ASA Adirondack - A Sanctuary for the Soul. I have been a volunteer labyrinth keeper with the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth since 2010 or perhaps even a bit longer. I did my Veriditas Labryrinth Facilitator training with Lauren Artress here in Ottawa in May of 2010. And I was feeling the need to reflect on what might be next for me in terms of the labyrinth and also my mosaic art practise.
It also helped that Tony Christie, a labyrinth expert I greatly admire, was coming to the States for the first time to co-facilitate the retreat. And when I asked Christine Powers (the owner of the retreat) about the possibility of camping - was offered to opportunity to stay in the Enlightenment Hut. I was warned that it was rustic (off-grid and no washroom facilities) but I felt intuitively that it was exactly right for me.
We had several very powerful Zoom sessions leading up to the retreat - that totally helped me to prepare for the journey. I was also drawn to going to prospect for some Herkimer diamonds along the way (they can only be found in upper New York state). I had actually been told about the Herkimer diamonds by a participant at my original labyrinth facilitator training back in 2010. And was reminded about them when I came across a lucid dream ritual that incorporated a Herkimer diamond - while getting ready for this trip.
And finally I also knew to bring a very special mosaic project with me to get started on - while staying in my off-grid cabin. A friend had drawn/painted a mandala in memory of dear friend of both of ours. She commissioned me to create a mosaic based on her piece of art. Before leaving on my journey, I spent time pulling together a palette of mosaic materials for the project. The mosaic was eventually going to be installed on a fairly heavy stone – that I left at home!
The retreat was everything I hoped for and more. The setting in the southern part of the Adirondacks was wild and beautiful. From my cabin window I could see ranges of mountain peaks. My cabin mosaic studio was great. I would work on the mosaic first thing in the morning and from time to time during the day when we had some personal time.
We had several sharing circles, guided labyrinth walks, a guided group meditation and were just generally very well cared for. The meals were food for the soul, feasts prepared by the culinary goddesses! And of course, the people that attended were also meant to be there and added greatly to the overall experience.
On my final morning I spent time in a quiet area in the woods. I clambered up to the top of a lovely huge boulder and reflected on my time away and what a gift it was to myself. I know I am on the right path on my creative journey and look forward to whatever comes next.

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