The Garden Maze

            On the banks of Bath, there lies a Garden Maze. In actuality, it exists as a maze or labyrinth.  I believe if you enter and turn right it is a labyrinth.  Labyrinths exist with only one entrance to the center.  There is no trickery here, only one route to go.  If you opt to go to the left, it is a maze. Mazes are a choose your own adventure story.  Multiple choices are made with your feet, and you could be steered wrong to a dead end or feel as if you are walking in circles.

             I had led a couples retreat on this exact Garden Maze years ago.  I let couples have the choice of labyrinth or maze.  I had forgotten which direction led to maze or labyrinth as I stumbled on the path again today.  It was the maze.  I tried to go the route that didn’t seem obvious, what appeared to be the longer route. I knew it would attempt to trick me. I was curious if I would just give up, but I was determined to make it to the center.  As luck would have it, I did.  There was so much pride in this.  It would have been so easy to give up and jump straight into the core, pretending I had the knowledge to make it here. Or just give up.  Yet, when I made it, I breathed a sigh of relief. As I gazed at the central figure, I couldn’t help but feel as if this was the journey of life.  There were various paths and options to take.  There was no easy answer that took you straight to the center.  The reward was in the hopeful meandering would lead you towards the end result of jubilation.   I wanted to celebrate my achievement by doing a yoga or dance pose.  I didn’t but opted to walk around the large mosaic that formed the center, and actually choose to write this blog post from the core.  

            I saw a couple initiate the path, but they started to walk different directions.  The male had said they could go two separate ways and see who made it.  The female didn’t want to go on the path alone, and so they gave up. As I sat in the center, I saw two blokes who looked like they wanted to take the path.  They started to draw the lines with their fingers, seeing if they were tracing their way to the center.  Since they did not do it immediately, they chose to not even begin the path.  I was by this maze for more than one hour with more than loads of tourists passing by as the sun began to set.  Nobody else even tried.  

            Is this how it is in life?  We are in an era of instant gratification.  If the results are not achieved immediately, we may not even try.  Discouragement is found so easily, that it prohibits some from even beginning the path. In observing these two groups of people, one group barely entered the maze and the other never even started. Even though there are no guarantees in life, it doesn’t mean you cannot overcome a challenge.  A puzzling situation may arise, and I am curious if you have the patience to walk your way through to the answer.  It reminds me of Rilke’s quote: “Live the questions now, like unlocked doors. And one day you may live your way to the answer.”

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