Birthday visit


On Thursday we went to Norwich, which is about 45 minutes drive away. I’d had the notion to walk the labyrinth as a way of celebrating my birthday but alas, the best laid plans….They had shut the labyrinth as a temporary measure to allow the grass to grow back. It did indeed look rather muddy and sorry for itself; it surprised me they had left it open during the winter. With Easter fast approaching, I do hope it’s open again soon.

I don’t know how many of you have ever walked a labyrinth but it is a very effective way of stilling the mind and searching one’s own depths. In the middle ages, doing a labyrinth on your kneees was seen as the equivalent for the infirm of the trip to Jerusalem on pilgrimage. I don’t do it on my knees but I do it prayerfully.

At least, when I can do it at all!

I had a good birthday. I am aiming to blog a bit more about it, and about the gifts my family and friends gave me but I have had internet problems since Thursday night and am still trying to get sorted. The nub of the issue was a corroded phone line into the house, now replaced but as is the way of these things, other issues came up that are still giving us gyp!

So if I go silent for another few days, that might be the reason why!

8 thoughts on “Birthday visit

  1. This is a beautiful photo, Viv! I love old architecture as I’ve seen in different parts of Europe. Canada by comparison is a very young country. Yes, of course we have great architecture, too, but it dosn’t come with the History attached as it does overseas.

    Your idea of walking a labyrinth to clear the mind is a lovely one. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do one myself, but I would like to.

    For the labyrinth that’s in a garden, I always thought there would be a sense of trepiation attached to them. I mean, what if you can’t find your way out??? Have you ever been lost in labyrinth like that? If you have, what did you feel like?


    • Norwich cathedral was built very shortly after the Norman conquest and due to a dearth of relics, has remained pretty much unaltered over the last 900 years because funds hadn’t allowed much alterations or updates. It’s a magnificent building.
      Most labyrinths are what are called unicursal, which is the definition of a labyrinth: there is only ONE path that leads to the centre, even though it twists and turns. So you just keep walking and get to the middle. If there are blind alleys and so on, it is actually a maze. I have been in one maze recently and hated it; a high yew hedge all round stopped me from getting my bearings. The worst maze I’ve ever been in was a mirror maze; freaked me out and left me disorinentated even when i emerged.
      the labyrinth at Norwich is simply stone pavers set in the ground in grass, so you can just walk out at any time. I coulnd’t take a picture this time as it was cordoned off.
      I did a simply spiral labyrinth with string and stones in my own garden some years back and my meditation group came and we walked it led blindfold in turns; very powerful. I think it was for midsummer but thats a few years back now and our lawn here is wayyy too tiny! I can recommend a few ace books on making your own temporary labyrinth, either on grass or sand or similar, if that might help?


  2. Happy Birthday, Viv! I love labyrinths. I was lucky enough to find one to walk at a church withing driving distance. Someday I want to put one together in my yard. I have some azaleas blooming right now in my side yard. I thought a simple spiral would be easy to do around those.

    It’s interesting how often the word labyrinth is used interchangably with maze, when they are such different things.

    I love your photo, too. A cool way to frame the view 🙂


    • Thank you, Shelley and also Bonny. I am really getting interested in snapping away with my new camera. The cloisters are fantastic and I wanted to try and get a view as if I were one of the Benedictine monks who lived there once. I took a few of the labyrinth but since it is also roped off, they don’t look so good.
      I love azaleas; do yours have that fab scent like honeysuckle and jasmine all rolled into one?
      A spiral is often an easier way to do a labyrinth walk, because it takes you to the centre and then out again. If you do make it, will you send photos??


  3. Viv, Thank you for explaining the difference between a maze and a labyrinth. I didn’t know they were different things.

    If you do have a couple of titles torecommend, I’d be very happy to look them up. Thank you:)


    • OK,
      Labyrinth: pathway to meditation and healing by Helen Raphael Sands published by Gaia press
      Walking the Labyrinth by Tchenka Jane Sunderland isbn 0-9547086-0-1. This one is a booklet I got from the cathedral bookshop and may be harder to find, but I can always order you a copy if you have trouble.
      These are the two i can find right now but there are a couple of others that touch on it.
      Good luck!


  4. Thank you so much, Viv! I found one from Helen Raphael Sands, and another one by Donna Schaper & Carole Ann Camp ‘Labyrinths from the Outside in: Walking to Spiritual Insight A Beginner’s Guide’.

    I’m going to order both of those the next time I place an oder for some of my art books.

    Thank you!


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