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Mother Nature and her semiannual day of balance

If you’re old enough to remember the old Elitch Gardens, you are old enough to sense that seasons seem to rush by more and more quickly with each passing year. In just 4 days, it will finally be Spring again. At 5:21 pm on March 20, the spring equinox* will be upon us, as we in the northern hemisphere will reach the halfway point in the ascent from winter to summer.

Trivia question of the day:  do you know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth? The best explanation I found is that “a maze is multicursal, or a series of paths with dead ends and can be quite frustrating. A labyrinth is unicursal, meaning it has only one path and no dead ends.”

Maybe you are now asking yourself: What do paths around the sun have to do with paths through a labyrinth? And why is Lori bringing them up now?

Because you might want to consider a meditative way to mark this special point of the earth’s path around the sun. Whenever possible I spend solstices and equinoxes* in a labyrinth on a walking meditation. Doing so allows me to feel the rhythm of Mother Earth and her place with Father Sky. Here is a diagram I carry in my head:

The wave represents energy itself (vibration and ripple are two other physics and metaphysical terms), and it reminds me of the significance of the parts of the cycle: the two extremes and the midpoints. You could superimpose the four weeks of a menstrual or moon cycle here as well.

March 20 marks the day the earth is at the in-between point. A time of subtle shift. A time to become fluid and open to the path ahead. A time of rebirth, of promise, of growing light.

As I walk the labyrinth, I feel a few moments of connection and peace. I offer gratitude for the early signs of return to life, and I offer condolences to freaks of nature people like Amber, who mourn the passing of winter.

A deliberate and mindful walk into and out of the labyrinth can take 20-30 minutes, and doing it on a celestially meaningful day seems to supercharge any intentions I have during the walk.

So even if you can’t walk the old Elitch labyrinth with me that day, do try to take a moment to notice the shift and contemplate this day of balance for Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and mothers everywhere.

* Cheers to our readers in the southern hemisphere who will greet their vernal equinox that day.

Images: © May be used with attribution and linkage.

Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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  1. OK, this post kinda blew my mind. I’ve honestly never considered any of this before. Great stuff, dearie!

  2. I love this post, Lori! I love your point about how mazes and labyrinths are different. The thing to remember about a labyrinth is to keep going. It’s different than a maze, because even though your way appears to be blocked, it’s not. Keep following the path and you’ll reach the goal.

    I know there’s a philosophical debate here as to which best represents our lives: mazes or labyrinths. I’d like to hope it’s the latter.

    Either way, this equinox, may your shifts be subtle yet profound. 🙂

  3. @Amber — the energy bit, or the freak of nature part? LOL.

    @JoAnn — Perfectly put! “Keep following the path and you’ll reach the goal.”

  4. Love your perspective, Lori!

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