June Check-In: Labyrinths, Workshops, and Life

Hello everyone! Happy 1st day of summer!

We completed the puzzle, and now we are puzzle-obsessed. In my puzzling personal life, I have also worked out some health kinks and schedule arranging that suit my life much better. Hurrah for perseverance and making changes! And great doctors.

Then, we went on to solve a bigger puzzle: how do you build a labyrinth? It took some critical thinking and teamwork, but we figured it out–step by tiny step:



It’s a little over 12′ diameter. Perfect for my small garden, and perfect to walk every morning and every evening. I’ve always been drawn to labyrinths. I seek them out everywhere I visit, and try to walk as many as possible on my trips. Surprisingly, there are quite a few spread around the land, you just have to inquire about them and seek them out. Many are tucked into church courtyards, college campuses, wellness centers, backyards, and other unexpected places. Why walk a labyrinth? Seekers have been walking them for thousands of years. They can serve as a symbol of a greater traditional spiritual pilgrimage: The Via Dolorosa, The Holy Land, Mecca, and Camino de Santiago, Chartres (and other great cathedrals). I walk to quieten my mind, resolve inner conflict, find clarity and direction, and to listen for that still, small voice. And sometimes I walk with no agenda–just meander along a travelled path. I am so fortunate to have a mate who supports my whims and wishes and helps make them realities. Shout-out to Chuck!

I turned 51 this past Monday! I celebrated at my favorite coffee shop with a vegan chocolate chip muffin and golden latte. I spent the day working on an essay for an… (*read on below for my happy news!)


We recently spent a long weekend in the North Carolina mountains and chased waterfalls. We visited seven in three days! Thrilling!! I will probably devote a future blog post to some of the glorious photographs I took and our experience. If you’re in the area and want suggestions for a few waterfalls to visit, I wrote this piece that might help:


And I have some happy news to share…

*I applied to Orion Magazine’s Environmental Writing Workshop at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. I was accepted into the workshop, and am beyond excited! Orion is my favorite magazine, and I’ve been a devoted reader for years. Orion explores the themes of nature, culture, and place. Its mission is one I believe in and want to be part of: Orion magazine invites readers into a community of caring for the planet. Through writing and art that explore the connection between nature and culture, Orion inspires new thinking about how humanity might live on Earth justly, sustainably, and joyously.
Check it out. I think many of my readers will love it as much as I do:


And since I leave very soon and will have limited computer access, I won’t be on my website much. I hope to hear from you and what you are up to this first day of summer (or depending where you live, winter [Hi, Pauline!]), and I will respond in the next couple of weeks. Thank you all for traveling this writer/life journey with me. We are all fellow pilgrims, no matter which path we choose. I am grateful.

32 thoughts on “June Check-In: Labyrinths, Workshops, and Life

  1. Congratulations on getting into the Orion workshop and getting to go to Rhinebeck! Watch out for the ticks, though. I’ve heard from relatives in NY that tick season has started early. Back the late 70s I went to Rhinebeck for a wool festival (I was besotted with spinning my own yarn and weaving). I’ve always wanted to go back. Enjoy yourself. I hope you have a chance to take some pictures you can share 🙂

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  2. Wonderful news about the Orion workshop, Cheryl – Orion sounds like a perfect fit for you. I walked the lovely labyrinth with my eyes. And happy belated birthday, you are now officially in your 50s and its okay!! Enjoy your time out and I’ll look in when you’re back

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  3. Cheryl – what do I congratulate you on first??!! Wow! on the labyrinth – I’m very impressed! And a shout-out to Chuck from me, too. You reminded me that I believe I’ve been in/through myself over time. And … Happy Birthday! And … congrats on your workshop acceptance with Orion Magazine – I have no doubt you’ll be over the moon, and please do share waterfall photos. What a boatload of good news – good for you! Jeanne

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  4. This is so great! Your joy is palpable. I’m so excited for you on all fronts. And isn’t it great to have a man about the house who can make your dreams a reality? 😉 xo

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  5. Hi Cheryl! ❤ I'm so happy the year has turned and the light will begin to lengthen down here once more. Your garden is beautiful I love that you have so many trees around you and it looks cool and shady for Chuck to labour in. Adding your own personal labyrinth in – I call it a spiral and a yard a garden 🙂 – is inspired and I love that you have your own meditative outdoor practise that you can attend to whenever the feeling takes you. In my Waldorf teaching days we built an indoor spiral every mid winter for the entire school to walk including the parents if they wished. I miss that celebration! Heartiest of best wishes for your birthday. The best years are coming 🙂 I'll hit 70 in September and while part of me laughs uproariously at the thought the other part wonders how on earth that amount of time went by so quickly ….
    Finally, I wish you much joy at your upcoming retreat – it sounds amazing!!

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  6. Congratulations on the workshop! I hope you love it and return refreshed and inspired. I love that you built a labyrinth in your backyard. We have one in town and I’m going to try to squeeze in a visit soon.

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  7. Congratulations on the workshop, Cheryl! That’s great news. I’m glad you had a nice birthday. I’ve got 54 coming up next month and here I thought I was turning 53. How did I miss a year? LOL! Great puzzle. I’m working on a killer one now. If I ever finish, it may be worthy of a blog post. Enjoy the workshop!

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  8. Congratulations to you Cheryl, on so many accounts! Your birthday, resolved health concerns, a supportive mate, creating your very own labyrinth, and now the Orion journey. Sounds like you are living your dreams. Oh, and now WP has finally notified me of your new post so perhaps that is resolved as well. Would love to have met you while you will be at Omega. I attended a workshop there last summer as I am only a few hours away. Warmest wishes to you in the meantime for safe travels and an awesome experience!

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