Gestare Art Collective

Wombwalks II - Barbara's birthday March 31, 2018

Nane's walk for Barbara's Birthday - Easter Morning, Sunday April 1, 2018

I pulled up and parked my car on Davie St. to go and walk to the labyrinth at St Paul’s. Arriving early at the Church at 9 AM, I saw the door was locked and the labyrinth not open for another ½ an hour. Thus my decision was made, I drove a bit further down the street to the beach, English Bay, on a quiet Easter Sunday. A quiet, but very windy morning, hardly any traffic, and the beach was almost empty of people. Bright sun streamed down from otherwise almost menacing looking dark clouds that hung over the ocean. And the wind, oh the wind. There was so much wind I wondered how I would be able to stay very long. It was the kind of wind that takes your breath away. The seagulls were flying madly about way up high, playing and enjoying the fierce air currents in the sky, swooping wildly, calling to each other. Whitecap waves crashed over and over into the shoreline. Passer-bys on the walkway held hats or hoods around their heads. I pulled my own hood tightly over my head and face.

Okay, I thought, I can’t stay long in this wind--it felt like too much blowing force to be here in any kind of relaxed way. So I decided to build a spiral-shape labyrinth in the sand. One I could more quickly, easily make and walk into this power of pure wind-force. I wondered what all this wind could mean for Barbara’s b’day and year—such a force of nature, blowing away all kinds of things, clearing what is no longer needed with fresh revitalized air from the sea, Mother Ocean. Wind is Dakini—the Dakini rides the clouds and wind force, she is elementally air in fierce motion through instantaneous transformations of all kinds.

I drew my big spiral in the sand with my feet, and then began to walk the shape. For at least one brief moment, going in and around, I surrendered to this fierce wind, moving quickly as if merged with moving air, propelled around spiral force of life. Inside this wind tunnel I went, step by step to its centre. Then a moment of quite, just being here, as small bits of hail or frozen rain came down, while the sun shone over the beach, and dark clouds hung over the ocean. I heard and felt the seagulls calling and calling, laughing and swooping high above. A moment of gratitude for these forces of nature of all kinds. Looking out from the spiral, I saw a rainbow forming in the distance, beginning its arch from the landmass of Stanley Park, then reaching way out over the water. Amazing—blessed be.


Medwyn's walk for Barbara's birthday March 31, 2018

A gift from the wind and the sand for Barbara. This first sand labyrinth marking here in my new home place. I chose Islands View beach in Central Saanich, a location I had heard of and not yet visited, and was well rewarded for this choice. Wrapped in winter coat, cozy knitted hat on my head I ventured out onto this very long beach and into the blustery day. Between wind gusts there was warmth in the sun, reminding me of the gifts of summer soon to come, light clothing, long days and swimming. Aware that this labyrinth was itself a gift, a gift for Barbara as she celebrates this first birthday back on Canadian soil, I eased my intention into the pathway wishing for healing in the homecoming for Barbara as she and Michael began to shape the next steps in their life in Calgary.

Barbara's Wombwalk II.mp3

Birds show me signs of spring, a pair of Harlequin ducks the male with his brightly coloured plumage overshadowing his mate clad in more sombre attire. Crows carrying twigs for nest building flew along the back of the beach towards the tall trees rimming the wetlands behind. I walked three times, in and out, a steady pace drumming the beat of my feet on the sand, one and two and three and four, one and two and three and four, a joyful offering. Aware that I was being observed I turned on leaving the pathway offering the gift of a welcoming smile to two women standing quietly watching me. Kim and Joy are good friends, they were walking the beach in celebration of this Joy’s first day of retirement. I invited them to walk the labyrinth, without hesitation they accepted the offer.

When she completed her walk Joy shared with me that her intention for coming to the beach that day was to look for a sign to guide her in this next part of her life, and when she saw the labyrinth she knew immediately that it was a good omen showing her a pathway to herself.

My heart filled with gratitude for the gift of the labyrinth to these women, to Barbara, to me and to the liminal spaces of the unseen world wherein these ancient forms reside in perpetuity. May the love held this day in this sacred blessing pathway pour out upon the earth as gift in service to the highest good for all.

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