Napa Valley Taize

"Arise my soul, winter is gone, the time for singing, singing has come."  They've been rolling around in my head, these words from Song of Songs.  Some might call the phenomena an "ear bug", but for me they are merely a reminder, that we are seasonal creatures, both spiritually, and physically. These amazing California winters, when the acacia, narcissus, and even the mustard become harbingers early in February, are not so difficult to rejoice into, even as we are walking, liturgically in a leafless, dark time of the year.  As I plan Taize, the Spring Equinox is here, however, we already have been experiencing her arrival for a few months already, and winter has softly faded away.

Last week, while walking the labyrinth at a Lenten Labyrinth workshop at Grace Episcopal, I experienced a phenomena of affirmation that on the one had startled me, yet on the other, was completely familiar.  Some of us may not know the labyrinth is a resurrection symbol.  The labyrinth in its inherent nature, proves an optimistic allegory of the Earth.  As we live and walk our paths on the earth, we all reach our destinations, we go where we will go, and come where we will come.  At any stage we can begin again, for every corner of the Labyrinth offers a new view as you round it.  It is a true symbol of confidence.  On the way to the center you can never get lost, and in the end, the paths of your life will reveal themselves with some sort of meaningful pattern.

In the messiness of our lives, we often find ourselves in exile,  yet as we begin to follow our longings we  journey to  reconnection to the light of God within.  It is a journey home that moves us through what seems like unknown land.  Stirrings of wildness, of chaos, of darkness, on the labyrinth, always lead us to life.

I was playing my flute for the folks as they walked, so I was last to enter.  I reached the middle, played another riff on the flute, prayed my gratitude, and began to walk out.  I noticed an individual who had been looking confused, lost.  Before I could catch myself I leaned over and whispered, "You're not lost", she smiled, and soon after I took her hand, and she followed me out the last few turns.

Later in the week, as I began to reflect on my prayer that evening on the labyrinth, it didn't take long before I was washed with the affirmation of my life's ministry, which is to whisper, "You're not lost", and by action take a hand and guide them along.  This, at a time when I had nearly forgotten.

This is the mirrored prayer and the gift of walking the labyrinth.

Come.  Sing.  Pray. Walk with us.

March 27, Taize Prayer.