January 12, 2008

The Frozen Labyrinth

No one shoveled the snow from the labyrinth but it has melted here and there, so that part of it is exposed and part is visible under the thin crust of snow. Most of it is hidden and the path is hard to find. But I walk it anyway. Others have done that, too, and there are footprints frozen in the snow. Leaves have fallen and there are little melted impressions where they lie, as though there is some of the warmth of summer still in them somehow. I cannot see the turnings and so I make up my own way around. I follow the bricks and stones where I see them and then I go on my own over the snow and ice that covers the rest. I cannot see the path but it is there nonetheless. And I remember these words from somewhere: “Traveler, there is no road. The way is made by walking.” And so I walk, making a way, following a path that I cannot see. And I realize that the place where the path is hidden is the place of shadow. The trees have kept the labyrinth out of the sun. And that must be part of what the holy mystics mean when they speak of the dark night of the soul. It must be that the darkness of the shadows hides the path, makes it impossible to know where the way is. But the absence of knowledge, the absence of vision, is not the absence of the path. The way is there all the time. And if I wait until the snow melts, I will miss this walk of peace. The snow will be gone in a matter of months but I am here now. And so I walk, making my way, trusting that the path is unfolding under my feet whether I can see it or not. I am walking in faith.

No comments: