Hiking with friends, discovering labyrinths, peace and quiet.
A snack, a large water bottle, camera, a little something to leave at the center of the labyrinth.
Tucked into the hills of Oakland lies a park that has a secret. It is the home of a traditional labyrinth made of rocks and ready to be explored. Caley loves labyrinths. The one nearest and dearest to her became her first tattoo which she describes by saying, “I don’t carry my heart on my sleeve, I carry it on my ankle.” Anyway, her love of labyrinths led us into the Oakland hills in search of one that isn’t found on the Regional Park Map.
We arrived with one tiny water bottle, Caley wearing shorts, me in flip flops. Well prepared as you can tell. I was surprised by the number of trails and quarries there were to explore and wondered whether we would find what we were looking for.
After asking for advice from a couple professional dog walkers, we headed up the trail and hoped that when we made it to the top we would see a labyrinth waiting for us below. It felt exciting to be searching for something not on the map as we wandered we talked. Reaching the peak, we spotted our destination and decided to head down the cliff that lay in front of us, me with my prego belly and flip flops and Caley with her shorts and little water bottle. The path looked sketchy from the top, but even sketchier from the bottom. Caley took out part of a tree as she slid down one part of the trail. After our harrowing trip down, we were rolling with laughter and surprised to find a paved hiking path on the other side of the quarry. But what is life without a little adventure…
Labyrinths are interesting. Caley explained that although they are often confused with mazes, they are quite different. In a maze there are multiple paths and dead ends. In a labyrinth there is only one way in and one way out. You go into a maze to get lost. You go into a labyrinth to be found.
The idea of being found rattled inside me. I walked the path, felt the breeze, and let my buzzing mind settle. The center of the labyrinth had small artifacts left by earlier travelers. A bottle with a message tucked inside. A rock with some drawings on it. Things left to be found again.