Having duly arrived for a meeting at Surrey University which had been in my diary for months, I found that the date has been changed. I was the only one to turn up so it was obviously my mistake. The thing is I was so certain that I had this written in my diary that I didn't take full consideration of the date change when notified - at least that is the only conclusion I can draw at this time.
My day had been planned so well but suddenly I now had nearly three hours to fill before meeting a friend at the cafeteria in the nearby Cathedral. As luck would have it The Fountain Centre (http://www.fountaincentre.org/), an amazing wholistic therapy centre within St. Luke's Cancer centre, is only minutes away. I worked there for six years as a volunteer therapist some years ago and so decided to pop in. An ulterior motive was to make an appointment to introduce my friend Antonia to the new centre manager. Antonia's work "A Graceful Death" (http://www.antoniarolls.co.uk/my-work.html) is a beautifully supportive exhibition of paintings and writings of those facing death. It was lovely to visit and reconnect with past colleagues at The Fountain Centre and also to know I could be the catalyst for a beneficial new project. I was able to arrange a date suitable for all concerned to meet.
With still two hours to spare, I drove up to the Cathedral. Parking is free, a miraculous thing in itself! The weather was glorious (how did that happen?!?!). I sat for a while and texted my friend to see whether she could come along earlier but no response.
I took my own advice and sat in quiet meditation for a while. Feeling all frustrations ebb away I concluded quite firmly that there was a real reason why my day had worked out this way and I needed to explore all possibilities. I therefore took the very unpromising looking route through the car park following sign posting to "University - Town Centre". However, tucked away at the very rear of the cathedral was a small "Children's Garden". I stepped inside to find that this was a specially commissioned project to help bereaved children. The message was that just as the year has seasons, so does life. Just as things die, so their imprint and legacy lives on through the seeds they leave behind.
This alone was wonderful enough as I felt the garden was reiterating the reasons why my day had been altered in such an unexpected way. I would never have found the garden, nor visited my former colleagues had the original meeting not been postponed. The links between all these events was clear as Antonia's art exhibition is very focused on the positives of the end of life journey and the amazing opportunities that can be grasped even in the face of despair.
I followed the circuitous route through the remainder of the garden to find to my absolute delight a small labyrinth. I love walking labyrinths and this one, although small, had an exquisite feel to it. The birch trees around added a kaleidoscope type visual effect as the shadows of the dancing leaves created ever changing dappling shapes across the stones and markers. I joyfully started my labyrinth journey, slowly, step by step, reinforcing the focus of Self remembering which the path to the centre induces. I spent some time in the centre of the labyrinth admiring the view of the clear blue sky and the tower of the Cathedral as it loomed in intense brick red glory wearing a coat of shimmering birch leaves.
The purpose of the walk from the centre back to 'reality' is to embed the newly aquired insights and revelations into one's psyche before facing the world again. I felt quite restored and enthusiastic. The friend I was meeting had not long ago given me a wooden labyrinth as a gift and I was excited to share my discovery with her. Needless to say when I looked at the time I actually had to rush back to the front of the Cathedral and saw her pull up in her car as I did so!
From time in memoriam people have walked labyrinths - long may that tradition continue! It is a very soothing way to find inner peace and resolve issues including, as I found that day, ones of frustration and time bending! The path of the labyrinth curves and backtracks yet has a pure purpose. Its message for me was that although my intended trajectory for the day had not worked out, it was as if a higher power had intended it that way all along. Once I gave up the resistance and looked for the opportunities this offered I had a far better day than I could ever have imagined!