There is a labyrinth up the street from us, in front of a church I like to visit regularly to see friends.
Yesterday, Declan walked the entire thing, skipping and taking jerky long strides in his big red Crocs, the way he does nowadays. He’s decided to grow out his bangs this summer, adding a layer of haphazardness to his gait beyond the harum-scarum quality one witnesses when any seven-year-old boy puts his body into motion.
When he reached the center of the maze, he sat down, cross-legged and held his hands in prayer position, sitting absolutely still for a moment or two.
“What were you doing there in the middle of the labyrinth?” I asked him later.
“I was meditating,” he said, as though I’d asked him the color of his shirt. “That’s what you’re supposed to do in a labyrinth.”
“What is that like for you?” I asked. “What happens when you meditate?”
“I sit still and think about nothing,” he said, again answering me as though I’d asked him the most painfully obvious question.
“Is it hard to think about nothing?” I asked. “Your brain seems to work awfully hard a lot of the time.”
“Not if I keep my eyes open,” he said. “Then I don’t have any problem with it.”
“Why is that? What happens when your eyes are closed?”
“If I close my eyes, I see all my thoughts. So I look at something in the distance. Then it’s really easy to think of nothing.”