The two words are used synonymously but they actually mean something different. A labyrinth is a maze where all you have to do is walk and keep walking and you will reach the centre:
As long as you simply follow the path, you will reach the centre.
A maze on the other hand has false trails, dead ends and sometimes pitfalls. You have to explore all the turnings, even when many are ones that turn you back on yourself:
You can get totally lost in a maze: people have to be rescued from the famous one at Hampton Court. A labyrinth is different: you just keep going and follow the path ahead.
But if you get to the centre eventually, does it make a difference how long it took, or how short a time?
Is it the journey that is important or the destination?
Which is your life: maze or labyrinth?
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!