The previous weekend had been pretty poor weather and I'd had little enthusiasm to trek outside and take photos. So the camera had been left in its bag and the cats had pinned me down on the sofa for most of the two days while the rain fell and the wind blew. It was lovely and relaxing. I did have one little spell when the sun shone briefly through the kitchen window while I was washing up some dishes, and the bubbles glinted with colored spectra flashing across the sink. The camera was briefly pulled out to catch some images.
The parking lot set the tone, many cars displaying vanity plates with, 'STRGZR', 'HDWITCH', 'CATAMVN', 'BKDRAGON' and 'M4ICK' just being a few. The fair was held under a copse of black walnut trees and I had to look where I put my feet; I'd spotted a couple of people slipping as they negotiated their way across the grass.
Many people were smoking as they walked about, either puffing on cigarettes or vaporizers. The sweet sickly clouds of smoke irritated me after a while and I had to escape. I left the scene. Everyone had been very welcoming and friendly and it had been nice to walk around in such a subdued, quiet and welcoming environment, but it simply wasn't my scene and in truth, I felt a little uncomfortable. I walked back to the car with no idea of where to go next.
As I drove through the back streets of Manassas, wanting to avoid the heavy traffic, I recognized an area I'd been in a some years ago, and saw the sign for the Benedict Sisters, Saint Benedict Monastery. They allowed people to walk the grounds so I drove in, remembering pretty gardens and statues.
Labyrinths were all laid out according to the
same basic pattern: twelve rings that enclose a single path meandering path
which slowly leads one to the center rosette. The path makes 28 loops, seven on
left side toward the center, then seven on the right side toward the center,
followed by seven on the left side toward the outside, and finally seven on the
right side toward the outside terminating in a short strait path to the rosette. This one is a copy from the French cathedral. There are several meanings for labyrinths but I like this one: the faithful trace the path of our long and laborious life on earth, beginning
with birth, at the entrance, and ending with death, at the center. The way out
symbolizes purgatory and resurrection.
The Peace Silos have vibrant stained glass murals running up one side with benches inside on a brick circular patterned floor, a place of peaceful reflection for the nuns only, since the gates on both were locked. It must be a beautiful place to sit and pray when the sunlight shines through that glass throwing rainbow colors over the interior.