Family, Observations from..., Random DJB Thoughts, Recommended Readings, The Times We Live In
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Journeys that move us toward justice never end

Yesterday we took a walk through Brookside Gardens. It was a beautiful fall day, the colors were vibrant, and the air was clean. Along the path were small signs of “Garden Mindfulness” with reminders to “feel the air moving across your skin” and to “bring awareness to those parts of the body where you could feel the wind.”

After a while we came upon a labyrinth placed in a tranquil meadow setting. As I slowly walked the curving stone path, I recalled the rules and morals of the practice from my reading of Rebecca Solnit’s delightful book Wanderlust: A History of Walking.

“…sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes you’re farthest away when you’re closest, sometimes the only way is the long one.  After the careful walking and looking down, the stillness of arrival was deeply moving.”

In these troubled times, we are all on a difficult journey. It is important to recall that sometimes the only way is the long one. Work that is meaningful takes time and the labor continues.

We can reach our goals only when we are mindful that journeys that move us toward justice never end.

More to come…

DJB

3 Comments

  1. Thanks, Deedy. I have to remind myself along the way. Have a wonderful day. DJB

  2. I received a comment from a former colleague via email that I wanted to capture here, as it related to this blog. Since it came to me privately, I’ve kept the author anonymous and have gently edited it to take out a couple of references, but otherwise the sentiments are hers. DJB

    I’m so glad to hear there is a labyrinth at Brookside. I haven’t been there in a long time so I’m eager to check it out. I just spent 3 days last week at Shrinemont, the retreat center for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (also open to the public). I discovered this fall that they rent some of their small houses and cabins, not just the hotel-type rooms, so I was able to rent this fabulous early 19th century log cabin (potot attached!) for 3 days last week to hide out and work on our new application. The cabin is adjacent to the labyrinth so I walked it at least once a day as I was trying to gather or clear my thoughts. Also, I’ve recently joined a study group that our church is doing on racial reconciliation. The labyrinth is one of the concepts that grounds the broader initiative: “On the road toward reconciliation and healing, we move around corners and double back into quadrants we have visited before, each time discovering new revelation and challenge.” Though I hadn’t thought about it this way when I was there last week, I did notice how I would find myself thinking “I thought I was there…why am I doubling back??” – seems so apt with both unlearning history and relearning it. At a conference I attended virtually this week there was a very powerful panel about whether our industry needs to reckon with race. Yes. One of the speakers was from a tribe on the VA/NC line that I wasn’t familiar with. He spoke powerfully about colonial mindset and the impacts you see to this day, including the rate of COVID in Native populations. Gut wrenching.

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