Archive for the ‘Whidbey Island’ Category

Labyrinths

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
St Stephens Episcopal labyrith

St Stephens Episcopal labyrinth

Earth Sanctuary Labyrinth

Earth Sanctuary Labyrinth

I really like labyrinths. They’re not mazes; the object is not to get lost. You can see where you’re going…

But the way they’re constructed makes them a walking meditation and metaphor for life. One of the more interesting things (to me) is that at first it appears that you’re headed straight for the center (the goal) and then there are all sorts of switchbacks, until you’re not sure if you’ll ever get there.

I also tend to lose my concentration, and then wonder if I ever walked through certain parts. But I must have, or wouldn’t have ended up in the center.  At any rate, I tend to walk labyrinths whenever I can.

So it’s odd that even though I’ve known about the labyrinth at St Paul’s Episcopal in PT (and even met the woman who designed it), I still hadn’t walked it until last week. For once, there was nothing much going on at the church when I went by, so I pulled over & walked thru it. It is truly beautiful, with designs made from brick and shiny black rocks.

It’s not so odd to find a labyrinth at an Episcopal church; Grace Cathedral in San Francisco has 2, and St John’s Cathedral in Spokane has one as well. (I’m sure there are more around the country…)

The very next day, I was at Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island, and what do you know- another labyrinth. Totally different, with the borders marked by growing salal, but also a very powerful experience. The silence (except for the birds and little rustlings of small animals) made it feel as if I were enveloped in the earth’s energy. Leaving the Sanctuary, I was so calm and peaceful that I nearly stepped on a rabbit. I don’t know who was more surprised…

I mentioned labyrinths at my Artist’s Way group, and someone told me there was yet another labyrinth in a county park nearby, so of course I headed out there. I checked the bulletin board for their map, and followed it to the place the labyrinth should have been. I found the basketball courts, bmx track, horseshoe pitches. But no labyrinth.

So I was wandering around the woods in a white sweater, looking for something labyrinth-y and seeing nothing but disc golf baskets. Pretty soon it became clear that I was 1) not going to find the labyrinth 2) going to wreck my sweater and 3) probably going to get beaned with a disc. So I gave up on that one.

I actually have a theory that the county parks people have created an anti-labyrinth. Wandering off the paths, looking for it through the brush and nearly ending up on the highway or in a disc golf match is a sort of meditation in itself, and they didn’t have to do anything but put the word “Labyrinth” on the map. Genius…

A wonderful day…

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

tulip-rainbowI’m still recovering from yesterday’s visit to the tulip fields in Skagit County, WA. Yes, they are all that. I know I was supposed to be in awe of the flowers (and I was) but the clouds were really putting on a show, too. It never did rain, but they just billowed all day. If you click on the above photo, you can see more photos. I was really impressed w/Tuliptown’s organization. They are just nice people, and they’ve been doing this for a while. Special thanks to the tractor driver who actually stopped to let me on!

Today’s a day for congratulations, too. Son Pete just found out that his team pitched the winning bid for MSFT’s new phone campaign, and he’s ecstatic. A huge coup for his company, and for him personally.

Then I found that one of the women from my writing group had won a wkend for two, in Walla Walla’s wine country  for her essay. Talk about starting strong! (This is a woman who considered herself a “hesitant writer”! Hesitate no more, sister!)

And spending the morning with my Artist’s Way group. What a bunch of powerful women. The growth we’re seeing is outrageous.

It’s just one of those days when the tulips aren’t the only things blooming.

Kayaking Whidbey Island

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
New kayaking friends from Seattle

New kayaking friends from Seattle

Well, I spent the entire day on Whidbey yesterday. For whatever silly reason, I hadn’t been over there for many years, and have never really had a chance to explore on my own.

So I did everything (well, almost everything) all in one day.

The high point was going kayaking from Langley Marina with this very cool family from Seattle. As a singleton, I need to somehow hook up w/groups in order to take a kayak tour, so they were kind enough to include me in. This was the first kayaking trip for V & R, but I have a feeling they’re hooked. I definitely see kayaks in their future.

The grey whales have come back to Langley, and they even have a “ring the bell” system when one is spotted. Unfortunately, I had my whale repellent on, so didn’t see any this time. Nick, our terrific guide from Whidbey Island Kayaking, said they’d gotten about 70 feet away from one last wk on a trip.

It was a kind of blustery day, but we got a nice paddle in, anyway, and had a lot of fun talking. Turns out my adopted family du jour runs a perennial nursery in West Seattle. Isn’t it odd how these things work? So I was pumping them for info on plants & chickens the whole time. Oh, and we are all into Fairy Gardens.

More on my trip later; I’m still recovering!