Monday, September 14, 2009

Walk #256: Calistoga and Labyrinths (Rat Mazes for New Agers)

The Labyrinth in downtown Calistoga...

I am in the Napa Valley. I will, more than likely, be here until the middle of next week.

Worked the day as a Social Worker. Gosh, they have nice hours. How luxurious to get up rested after a nights sleep and begin work at a more civilised hour. 8:30 am is a treat to begin work. Nurses always have to put up with some of the most atrocious of hours. I mean, who, besides bakers, actually starts work at 6:30 in the morning? Those hours are for folks who aren't like me. People who are disciplined. Healthy. Have good sleep habits. Early to bed sorts of folks. Not late night readers and ruminators like myself.

My walk was in Calistoga. I took an hour and a half to just mosie around this beautiful little town. I stopped to take photos; savored memories of the time I actually lived in this town. I noticed what had changed.

I looked at the first apartment Joni and I rented when we moved here in 2003. I looked at all the cottages from the 1860's. I noticed that the video store had closed (a victim of Netflix?). I noticed all the new wine tasting places in town--turning the downtown into a Upper Class Bar Crawl. I also noticed that such proletarian things such as "happy hours" have started to be advertised. I guess the Recession/Depression has hit the Napa Valley too.

And I stopped to notice a labyrinth walk. This labyrinth was put in a parking lot by one of the more upper crust resorts. I didn't stop to walk it. First off, it is right downtown, and walking in a circle downtown makes me feel sort of foolish.

And secondly, my walks are rather psycho/spiritual/political/humorous experiences all on their own. Walking leads to reflection for me. It also leads to just noticing what is going on around me--even if what I notice is ironic, or contradictory, or just downright foolish. I don't need a little rock circle to help me be more deep, or spiritual. That is much too pretentious for me.

Just let me walk and, more often than not, something interesting will pop up. Walking in circles is silly.

But what about the tradition of circumambulating large mountains? Well, that makes sense. If you want to hike around Mt. Shasta to get in touch with its energy vortex, or await some spiritual enlightenment, or with hopes of encountering a Lemurian or a flying saucer: I'm all for it. I'll join you for that one. The scenery is awesome. And it is in a wild place.

But itsy bitsy little labyrinths are trendy rat mazes for spiritual hipsters. I'll pass on that one.


Ian Woofenden said...

Rode to the ferry, walked across and drove to my NVC group. Maybe the first time I've driven a car in a week, but I still remembered how. Also remembered how to lock my keys (and bag and guitar) in the car, but fortunately not until I was back at the ferry parking lot, and had my wallet and phone on my. So I rode back across the island using my phone for a light, and without a jacket -- no prob, Bob....

7.70 miles
10.13 mph average
29.51 mph max

Ian Woofenden said...

Rode to town for errands, and to get my guitar and backpack out of the car.

9.70 miles
10.04 mph average
28.94 mph max