I’ve come down from the mountains and so miss walking their forests of pine and fir and cedar. To at least be near trees, I went for a walk this morning along a trail that runs beside a creek and beneath an evergreen bower of oak and bay. There’s a small clearing between creek and trail where someone, weeks ago, built a simple stone labyrinth. When I walked by today I saw the round, water-softened cobbles had been strewn and scattered all about the clearing. At first I was hurt – who would want to destroy a labyrinth? Then I was angry and set about rebuilding the maze, swearing at the various kinds of assholes that might have done this – they were all men, surely, for as a rule men tend to destruction and women to creation. It might have been a devout member of one of the dominant religions who was threatened by the relic symbol; maybe it was a kid who’d had a fight with his girlfriend and threw away his hurt and anger on the rocks; maybe a man who’d lost his job and eased his frustration in hurling the stones about….who knew?
The clearing was small so of necessity the labyrinth was too, but before I was half finished I realized how much fun it was hefting, hauling and placing the stones. I was glad the original circle had been destroyed. If it hadn’t of been, I wouldn’t have had the chance to create it anew, to re-create it, and isn’t that all life is, creation, destruction, and re-creation? The one is as essential to the other as dirt to a tree, as the ocean to rain. I hoped that the person who deconstructed the labyrinth found relief in the activity, maybe even peace. As I curled the last rock into the center of the gyre, I knew that some of the hikers passing by would pause to stroll the spiral, maybe even add to it, and that eventually it would again be destroyed. That made me smile. I walked on, hoping whoever takes the the labyrinth apart next will have as much fun as I will in remaking and recreating it, over and over again.