That Embarrassing Moment When…

Five Oaks Labyrinth and tree…you learn you left your underwear in the room where you were staying.  Then there is the relief you find when you discover it was the clean stuff you left in the drawer and not a pair that slipped under the furniture somewhere.

Oh but that wasn’t the best one.

My week was spent with a group of 11 students.  One brave one was a man while the rest of us were women.  With a couple of exceptions like myself almost all of them are ministers or have some work in the church.  I’m certain they display the utmost decorum when they are home in their pastoral charges but when you get them far enough away that no one will be likely to tell of their exploits they turn out to be a group who laugh so hard they cry.  Some of their humor may get lost on the regular laity but their antics are testimony to God’s sense of humor.

Of all the gifts given to us this week in our studies the gift of laughter was perhaps the most precious next to the friendships.  One small mistake made fodder for laughter which continued all week.  Now you might think it doesn’t take much to make a bunch of women minister get giddy and you also may think our exploits not as comical as we did.  It was a moment better experienced than not but I write it in memorial of a week of joy.

It began when we made our solemn trek to the lovely labyrinth which is on the river flats at the bottom of the hill below the main building.  It truly is a lovely spot.  The leaves of the big maple close by were falling so fast the grounds keeper couldn’t get them cleared fast enough for us.  The wind was high and their was a bit of a cold bite in the air.

The labyrinth walk is meant to be a mindful time of walking to the centre while you cast off the burdens you have.  The centre is symbolic of a place to meet god.  The same path you entered takes you out again while considering the things you need to continue your journey of life.  There are many ways to use this walk but most have to do with being contemplative and mindful.  Some believe the walk you take and the things which come to mind on the path are symbolic of the path you walk in life.

And so we went.  We had been given our charge by our instructor about what to consider on the walk and the brave leader of the pack began her walk.

This is a grass labyrinth with lovely, stones set in the earth to mark the path.  In the moment of her first step our friend was confused.  She didn’t know whether to follow the stones or the grass so she chose the stones.  Waiting for the appropriate length of time, the next person to enter followed in her steps, and so did the third.  The fourth participant, who had chosen the grass, met them not far into the adventure and reminded them they should walk on the grass.  The instructor, trying to keep a straight face, was walking toward them to help them our just as they figured it out and began to walk where they should.  Stifled laughter was their persistent friend for the rest of their walk.

For the remainder of the week those three women and their misadventure have been the butt of many jokes and they laughed at themselves harder than we laughed at them.

I only add my story of the dungarees to let them know they are not alone in their mishaps and perhaps take some of the pressure of them.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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5 Responses to That Embarrassing Moment When…

  1. Anand says:

    Peggy, I am sure that walking on the grass vs. walking on the stone has a meaning that everyone understands – but it didn’t penetrate my thick skull. What’s wrong with walking on the stones? I mean, the stones are laid on a path to make it easier for people to walk. I am a Hindu, so if it has something to do with what’s in the bible, I may have missed it completely.

  2. Anand says:

    Ok…I tried (understanding the picture that you shared.) Honestly. I must be dense. I am still not clear why one should walk on the grass and not on the stones 😦

    • Peggy Guiler says:

      The stones are like a wall or border to the path. They don’t take you to the centre. Now you are going to ha e to find a labyrinth and walk it. I’d be interested to know if they are as popular in India as they have become here. You might find them in Christian institutions.

  3. Laughter is a gift that keep on giving. The ability to laugh at ourselves an even better gift. To be able to join in with others is a supreme gift. Thank you for the insight.

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