STRONACHIE LODGE AND DOLLAR
After Dunure and Dundee, we visited two friends of Grahame’s: the proud owners of a labyrinth that he built in their garden. Brian and Janette were extremely welcoming people who provided a cuppa and cake as a prelude to our labyrinth walk. As I was walking it Incoming transmission was broadcast from Grahame’s phone: exquisite timing! His was electronic, mine was other.
At St James Church, Dollar a labyrinth winds around and embraces enormous pine trees in the churchyard. Extra cushioning was created by the pine needles on the grass.
At the conclusion of our day Grahame interviewed me for a podcast which was a good opportunity to reflect on my intentions in making this epic journey and some of what I’ve learnt along the way. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the creativity of people. Most labyrinths are based on two main patterns: the Classic and the Chartres, yet every single labyrinth is different. I have also realised that the environment greatly adds to the labyrinth and vice versa.
Another thing I’m learning as I travel is not to despair when things are not working out or are unclear. Something always turns up to draw me forth, whether it’s a particular labyrinth that I want to experience, or interesting person I want to meet, or a kind invitation I can’t refuse.
I have been really humbled by the way people that I meet or contact are making my commitment their commitment. They look up labyrinths, contact people for me, drive me around, house me. Their generosity has been astounding. One woman who had never heard of a labyrinth until I arrived was out buying me coloured chalk and trying to source a retractable stick to make it easier for me to draw in the sand! A couple of days ago she sent me a photo of the first one she and her partner had created on the beach.
I performed my ritual with the feather I found in Nine Wells labyrinth. I tiedit together with some flowers I stole off a floral arrangement beside the road (not far from the courthouse) with dental floss and threw it off the Albert Bridge into the Clyde. It immediately disappeared under the bridge. I ran across the road and eagerly waited (like playing Pooh Sticks when the kids were little) to see if it re-emerged. Was thrilled when it did.
I haven’t told you yet but travelling to labyrinths all over the world is really a front for seeking out good cafes and decent coffee (more challenging in some places than others). One of my favourites so far was McCune Smith cafe in Glasgow named for the 19th century intellectual and abolitionist and first African American to graduate with a medical degree. He travelled to Glasgow because no college would admit him in the USA and he topped his class! The sandwiches are named after other important philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment. (And the coffee was excellent!)