Happy New Year on the Path
Written by
Karen A Szklany
January 2020

Happy New Year from the Wooded Labyrinth Path!

My Dear Friends on the Path,

     Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve all found moments of peace and joy in the first 24 days of 2020.  Even if you don’t have a labyrinth nearby to walk in the winter months because it’s buried by snow, do you have a daily spiritual practice that keeps you grounded? As each year passes, the importance of self-care in the form of some type of meditation becomes more and more important to me.  Sometimes sitting on the couch and petting my napping cat as the sun splashes through our living room window serves as a quick five-minute meditation.

     The wooded labyrinth path has been a peaceful place for walking meditation this winter, even after a snowstorm. The quiet of the snowy grove reminds me to slow my pace. The slower my steps become, the more present I can be to the beauty of the sparkling snow, the music of the wind chimes, the fragrance of pine sap and needles.  This openness allows me to hear the whispers of my intuition, of my muse, of Spirit.


Walking With the Wisdom of Our Ancestors

     On Friday, October 24th, I led a walk in Wayland at Makom Hazon, the home of Rabbinic Pastor Matia Rania Angelou.  Each person brought an object that represented a beloved ancestor and shared a story about the person with the small group who gathered.  Then I led a meditation with a reading from my collection of Earth Prayers, accompanied by Native American flute music and nature sounds. 

     After the meditation, we gathered outside to walk Matia’s torch-lit labyrinth with the spirits of our ancestors, some holding the objects they brought.  I could feel so many guardian spirits with us on the path, and it was very comforting and peaceful, even joyful. We all felt held with love. When we gathered at the center, Matia led us in some HeartSong.  We each shared a little about our experience on the path, then walked out ~ some by the full path and others by the shorter path. 

Walking with Awe for Sacred Moments in Nature

     On Sunday, December 8, I led a walk at our UU church for a small group of fellow congregants, as part of a special monthly inter-generational “Explorations” service, where everyone disperses into smaller groups to explore a ministerial theme.  The theme for the month of December was Awe.  The focus of my walk was grounding ourselves in a memory of a moment when we felt a sense of awe with nature.  Each of us shared our moment, I offered a short reading from Earth Prayers, and we walked to the sounds of Native American flute music accompanied by nature sounds. 

     At the center was a bowl of stones and shells for the walkers to take one of each home to remind them of their experience on the labyrinth path.  When everyone finished walking, we shared insights received on the walk and I offered a closing reading by Rumi, which begins:


“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you; 

don’t go back to sleep…”


Walking to Set Our Creative Intentions for the New Year

     December 21st was the Winter Solstice in New England and I hosted a Longest Night celebration at the Common House in our co-housing community.  There was a sunset labyrinth walk, then a potluck and a gathering of friends and neighbors by the hearthfire.

     The labyrinth was lit with a rainbow array of LED votive lights to welcome the return of the light as the earth prepares to tilt back toward the sun.  The theme was honoring the creativity of the darkness of the winter nights, the potential for creating something new. It’s the incubation period of the chrysalis. The question I asked each person to take with them on the path was “what project or idea do you feel drawn to and passionate about pursuing in these dark nights of winter?  How do you intend to spend your time?” To begin the walk, I recited my favorite (untitled) Rilke poem that begins:

“You darkness that I come from,

I love you more than all the fires 

That fence in the world…”

And ends with “...I have faith in nights.”

     At the center we shared a little about our experience on the labyrinth path, and cheered those to whom a specific path for their creativity became clear.  I encouraged everyone to pay attention to their dreams, which may hold creative information for them.  Then we all walked out and back to the common house for a festive evening by the fire.


Upcoming Walks…

I hope this letter leaves you with fresh inspiration for your own creative journey.  This Sunday, January 26, 2020, I will be leading a labyrinth walk especially for the children of our UU church’s RE program around “self-concept,” which I’ll share about in my next letter.   I leave you with a prompt for continuing your creative journey into this new year of possibilities.

Journal Prompt

What new step in my life’s journey is my Intuition calling me to take right now?

In Faith, Hope & Love,

Karen XO,

Life Transformation Coach on the Labyrinth Path

at Walk, Love, Sparkle

P.S. Here's the link to the World Wide Labyrinth Locator.


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