Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Walking the Chartres Labyrinth
At times the labyrinth was full of people, and at times it was completely empty. I decided to take my shoes off and walk in my socks as I love walking barefoot on my labyrinth. I did this for my first walk, but stopped walking before I reached the center as a large noisy group of schoolchildren arrived and started rushing through the labyrinth. I almost wanted to stop them and explain to them that they would get more out of their walk if they slowed down a little, but I kept quiet! It was probably a good thing in retrospect as the floor was really cold and my socks got very dirty. Needless to say on my second walk I kept my shoes on.
The instructions in the Cathedral on how to walk the labyrinth say:
Walk the path with your whole being.
This really touched me as it is how I believe we should live our lives: with our whole being. Later, when I walked there were only a few people on the labyrinth, but I ended the walk alone on the labyrinth. I had wanted the labyrinth all to myself (that is how I am used to walking it), but it felt right that I was walking with others for that is what makes the journey of life meaningful. And when I completed my walk I noticed that I was the last one out of the labyrinth, although I hadn't been the first one in, and that felt just right too.
We were also able to take a tour of the Cathedral with Malcolm Miller. Mr. Miller is an historian who has been studying Chartres Cathedral and leading tours there for the past 53 years. He moved to Chartres when he was 24 (he is now 77) and says he is still learning about the cathedral. I so admire people who can take their passion and create a living from doing what they love. Everyone should be able to do this.
The Cathedral is being renovated at present and so there is scaffolding on the outside and at the front of the Cathedral. The renovations will take a couple of years, but will make a huge difference.
The Cathedral is truly beautiful and one can spend a whole day there looking at the windows and the statues, both inside and outside.
Amy and I ended the afternoon at La Chocolaterie where I had hot chocolate and a chocolate crepe (you can't have too much chocolate), and Amy had cafe (French coffee which is like expresso) and a raspberry crepe.
Perfect end to a perfect day.