Solvitur Ambulando: It Is Solved By Walking

Our backyard labyrinth!
Our backyard labyrinth!

Today I hauled over 175 bricks from a place by the garden fence to the middle of the back yard. They were pavers that we saved from when we fixed the front walk. I had them stacked out of the way but still easy to access (when I finally DID want to use them). They were covered with vines, had ant nests in between them, as well as slugs (ew!) I tossed the slugs towards the bird feeders and the blue jays and wrens had a delicious snack. As I uncovered the ants, I left the nests exposed and waited for them to move their eggs and pupae cases to safe places. 

It took about three hours to unearth, clean and move those bricks. (Yes, I could have used the garden cart, but we had some attack wasps who effectively kept me from getting into the shed.) Fortunately, it was a lovely day, low humidity and a nice breeze.

Trip after trip, I carried a stack of 5 or 6 pavers, which is about all I can manage. I started in the center and using a stick from the yard as my gauge, began to spiral outwards, spacing them on the grass. (Reedy Girl had helped me paint lines in the grass about a month ago so I used those lines as a rough guide.)

windchimeOnce the layout was finished, we rehung one of the wind chimes in a tree near the labyrinth. Eventually there will be some kind of seat in the center. We’re using an old picnic bench for now.

It’s walkable but not complete. I have to set in every single brick so that when the lawn is mowed, it doesn’t knick a blade. That’s gonna take a while!

So why all this work so that I can walk in a circle? I find labyrinths to be a quieting, focusing activity. It requires slowing down as I place my foot gently in the grass, and gently shift my weight and place the next foot. The speed doesn’t matter. The journey is to a quiet place in my soul, a journey inward.

Aristotle said, “the soul thinks in images.” For me, visualizing the process of hearing, understanding and responding to God is a spiraling process. It isn’t immediate. It isn’t always clear. But it is often solvitur ambulando.


  1. This is great. We’ve been thinking about creating a labryinth here, using leftover bricks. I’ve wondered about how we’d mow the grass around it.
    You’ve inspired me not to abandon the idea.


    • This is just the “lay out” stage – I will have to use a trowel and inset every single brick!! However, I think it will be worth it. 🙂


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