We drove half an hour in the darkness last night to a church three towns over that had created a candlelit labyrinth in their open sanctuary. I'd walked a labyrinth years ago by myself on an outdoor path and remembered it as a peaceful experience. But never one lit by candles, and never one on the longest night of the year.
The idea is that we're on a journey. We walk the maze of the labyrinth not knowing where we're going. We arrive at the center. Then we walk back out. It can be a meditation, religious or spiritual. Or something else, perhaps.
The labyrinth was like the one at Chartres; here's the design:
The path was shaped by 400 tea lights within white luminaria bags, like this:
Within the sanctuary, this is something like how it looked:
There were about 60 people who walked the labyrinth, from elementary school age children to retired folks. At any given time there were four to nine people walking. From outside the labyrinth, in the semidarkness, they looked like wandering ghosts, moving randomly. But I knew that each was on the same path, in a different place. Sometimes a person moving toward the center met a person returning. When that happened, the person returning stepped aside to allow the other to continue on their path. It was like an act of kindness and honoring from the returning person.
There are mazes all over the world, some from ancient times. We who are living now have the same hopes and yearnings and wonderings as those from centuries ago. We all walk the same path.
Let there be Light!