Those who love Florida and venturing off-the-beaten path will be thrilled with the new travel guidebook by award-winning author Lucy Tobias. Titled Circle the Center: Labyrinths in Florida, Lucy traveled throughout Florida and either walked or contacted more than 130 labyrinths and selected 95 for the book. She walked most solo but sometimes her adorable corgi Obi joined her.
First Time Walking a Labyrinth With My Dog
Yes, some labyrinths are dog-friendly and I had the experience of walking one with my dog Radcliff. Adopting a dog, I envisioned road tripping through the Sunshine State having magical experiences. I pictured a dog who could keep up with me and my thirst for adventure. Well, things haven’t quite worked out that way because of his Myasthenia gravis and he can’t walk very far before resting but we make the best of it.
During a business trip to Ocala and looking for dog-friendly things to do, I found the Labyrinth in the Peace Park at First Congregational United Church of Christ. If you have never walked a labyrinth, it’s not necessarily a maze but a pathway leading to the center of the circle. I imagine the intention is to walk with purpose to find clarity, peace, and calmness.
A few steps in, my visions of walking gracefully hand and leash quickly dissipated when Radcliff decided he needed to relieve himself. In the middle of the labyrinth path. *sigh* There’s a little blue plastic bag for that.
After business was taken care of, we proceeded to walk toward the center staying within the stone-lined path but Radcliff had other plans. He stepped over the stones wanting to head toward a nearby tree. It was a bit hot and he does not do well in heat. I imagine he knew there would be some sort of shade under that tree but I was determined to finish this labyrinth. I tugged on him to stay close to me and when he came closer, he plopped down and I could not get him to budge. He’s a stubborn little sausage when he wants to be. *sigh*
It was probably for the best. And maybe he sensed it. The skies soon opened with a downpour putting a damper on my visit to the Labyrinth in the Peace Park at First Congregational United Church of Christ.
How Did I Become Interested in Florida’s Labyrinths?
Colleague, friend, and I consider her a mentor, Lucy Tobias, has been busy researching about labyrinths and I’m THRILLED to share she has a travel guidebook in process and it’s all about Florida’s labyrinths! I consider Lucy an expert when it comes to enjoying real Florida. She is an award-winning author and has written books as 50 Great Walks in Florida and Florida Gardens Gone Wild. She also illustrated and wrote the children’s book, Mary Margaret Manatee.
Pre-Order Circle of Center: Labyrinths in Florida
Lucy has been working hard in researching this travel guidebook. As I mentioned, she visited/contacted 138 labyrinths and 95 made the cut for her book. In 2017, she made 42 work trips ranging from one to five days. During that time she traveled about 9,000 miles around Florida!
Lucy tells me, “A labyrinth is not a maze. There are no dead ends. You cannot get lost.”
Believe it or not, Lucy is the first to create a labyrinth trail in Florida!
From the Emerald Coast chapter of the book, Lucy shares her experience walking a labyrinth inside St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Panama City:
“These sharp turns are like life, I thought. We go along and suddenly, sharply, we encounter a complete reversal – a turnaround. Yet, step by step, even while being flung far out to the labyrinth’s outer circuits and back again, there is progress. Slowly but surely, we move one step at a time toward the center. Sometimes, it seems like a minor miracle to arrive at the center.”
So good, right?
You won’t want to miss this book and pre-orders are now being taken with an anticipated release date of Sept. 1, 2018, and retails for $19.95. You can pre-order the book right here –> Circle of Center: Labyrinths in Florida.
Want to learn more? Check out:
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Listen to my interview with Lucy on WKDW 97.5 FM Radio.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my traveling habit and my special-needs dog.