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!

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