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Ormund Beach Memorial Gardens

The Ormund Beach Memorial Gardens, Ormund Beach, FL were lovely... but I wonder if it might be better called a nature reserve. It was very jungly, and the paths labyrinthine wandered up and down and around the hilly area. A turtle pond sat at the lowest level while a waterfall slowly trickled down to it. I don't know what kind of turtles these are. My turtle knowledge is sadly lacking.

I saw other creatures, too. A black racer and I almost ran into each other as we both turned the corner. We were both scared half to death and I felt simply awful as the poor thing is smaller than me and was likely more terrified than I was.

I also saw a black cat (but it scampered into the brush before I could capture it's photo), an Eastern Lubber, and a toad (my toad-knowledge is also very lacking)

There was also a pavilion tucked away under the trees with a painted labyrinth, which I took opportunity to walk, and it was something very needed for that day.

For those who have never walked a labyrinth, they've been used by several different religions in the past, including Hinduism and Christianity, though the name is of Greek origin. In essence, it metaphorically represents a pilgrimage to something, and then back. On the walk into the labyrinth, the focus is on letting go - it could be a sin to repent of, a habit you want to break, a thought-pattern you want to change, or something you've been clinging to that you want to let go. At the center, there is usually a bench where you can sit to pray or meditate as long as you need on the thing that brought you there. Then on the way out, the focus is on leaving behind and moving forward. It could be the habits you want to form, the thoughts you want to practice, or giving thanks for the things you have in your life.

There are also a number of beautiful metaphors in a labyrinth to think about as you walk it. The path wanders closer and closer to the center, but then may suddenly wander far away to the outer edges, away from your goal, and it's a reminder that progress isn't perfect and everything has its ups and downs. Or you may be walking the labyrinth with someone. Sometimes you will cross paths - sometimes you may even walk side by side - sometimes you will be on opposite sides of the labyrinth - sometimes you will come back together - sometimes you will not - some people are coming - and some people are leaving.

Now, the Ormund Beach Memorial Garden labyrinth wasn't the most beautiful labyrinth I've walked, but it was still a much needed break from life. The garden was small, but green and lovely. If you live near there, it's definitely worth going to whenever you have a chance.

If you don't live nearby... it's not exactly worth the drive.

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