Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crawling the Labyrinth

I decided this past weekend that it was time to revive my backyard labyrinth. I know posts here have been few and far between but life circumstances knocked me for a loop. Perhaps I'm back up and blogging now, I'll just have to wait and see.

On to the labyrinth.

It was a beautiful sunny weekend and I was itching to get outside and putter.
I wandered outside to see where I was being led. I soon found myself down on my knees, pulling leaves and grass away from my labyrinth. It was almost totally covered with leaves. The grass was trying to crawl over the walls. It was a very neglected thing.

I was just going to pluck a bit of grass off the outside edge but soon I found myself with a pile of stuff that I couldn't just leave there. I rounded up a trash container - a big plastic flower pot with handles - and began my crawl. I started at the entrance and alternately traveled on my knees or on my butt... dragging my flower pot with me.

I used my fingers as my rake and scooped up the leaves. I pulled out up the dormant grass that was infringing on the structure. When my pot got full, I stood and stretched out the kinks then picked up my pot and took it to the compost pile.

It was a slow and steady scoot.

Slow was good that day, I needed it. I moved so slowly and so close to the ground that I was able to stop and see the bugs. I found a dried up bug carcass. The bugs on the ground and the bugs in my thinking.

Something about that carcass just caught my attention. Bug - been there and gone. Life moves on.

I keep up my scoot.


I'm fortunate to be living in my childhood home. That's not an experience that most folks have anymore.

When I crawled that labyrinth, my thoughts turned back to my childhood.
Squealing somersaults in the itchy green grass.
Games of Tag with the neighborhood kids.
Watching as the neighbor boys filled a garden hose with gas, then lit it and spun it around their heads. (I wasn't allowed to play with those kids...)

I remembered that my Father's tomato garden was "right about here". I continued on around the labyrinth circuit. I passed the bunny rabbit and tidied it up. He'd been knocked over during the winter and had been hidden by the leaves.

He's guarding his rocky rocks again.

The ribbon grass in front of the bunny was my Father's pride and joy. It's a variety that's hard to come by and is very slow growing. One time a local nursery owner, driving by, noticed it, stopped and asked my Father if he could dig it up. He'd trade anything in his nursery for it, he said.

Whatever Dad wanted, he could have, if he'd just part with his ribbon grass. My Father answered with a very firm "NO deal." Most of that grass is still in the front yard where my Father planted it, but I've been slowly transplanting it to special places.

Places to remember.
Scooting on... leafy fingers, muddy knees.

I'd forgotten the race horse. He was well hidden in overgrown shrubbery and piles of leaves.

It's Marsha's. I don't know the story, it's hers to remember when she walks the labyrinth.

I push on to the finish line even though it's a long way off and I won't hit it until the next day.

I'm remembering stories now. The stories my Mother used to tell me. Stories of how she and my Father had to tame that back yard. When they moved into the house in 1954 she said... "The trees were so close together that I couldn't stretch out my arms without touching one."

She and my Father cleared the land together. The yard was full of poison ivy. My Father tried to burn it once she said. "Don't ever burn poison ivy," was a very early lesson. Apparently the oils become suspended in the air. My Father ended up with poison ivy itch everywhere... "Yes, even 'there'.

Then I remembered another story... my Mother and Father crawled the whole back yard, planting sprigs of grass and pulling weeds. It was comforting this weekend to crawl where they had crawled... especially since all the poison ivy is gone.

Thinking about moved on to more current events in my life. A little light shiner reminded me that it's OK to be confused.

It's OK to wonder which way to go.

Scoot, pull, rake....
Sometimes, all you can do is gather up the broken pieces and keep going.

I stopped and stretched out on my back in the middle of the labyrinth. It was a beautiful sky.

Another 'remember' of childhood, lying in the yard with a friend. Finding dogs and rabbits in the clouds. Giggling.
Same yard. Wishing and dreaming, then and now.

On around the labyrinth I went.

Sometimes a bit of wine helps the whine.

Elephant tackles glass boulder.
Bunnies and Elephants and snakes... Oh My!

Tucked under the leaves, I found a tiny pine tree and a scrawny holy bush have taken root.

And the crawl continues back to where it began.


PhyllBeach said...


Alice Stroppel said...

Ohhh.. I always wanted one of these. I have an upstaris balcony that I could look down on a Labyrinth. Here you are, my hero, you built one. Wow!