For some reason these musings led me to harken back to a week not so long ago, which started when Ovide and I attended the dedication ceremony for the beautiful new stone labyrinth at the Historic Barns Botanic Garden in Traverse City. As soon as it ended, I knew we had to book-end that outing with a visit to another nearby attraction, the Jacob's Farm Corn Maze, which we did a few days later.
The terms "labyrinth" and "maze" are sometimes used interchangeably, and indeed they have overlapping histories. But in modern parlance labyrinths tend to be "unicursal" -- there is only one path from the entrance to the goal, which remains in clear view at all times; whereas mazes are "multicursal," with paths wending their way through, say, rows of withered cornstalks that completely obstruct your line of sight, full of dead ends, deliberately designed to confuse and challenge (and in some cases even to entrap).
Yet in some ways my second maze experience wasn't all that different from my first, since I succeeded in completing the circuit only because I tagged along with someone with superior navigational skills. In short, both experiences required relaxing some of my control needs and forcing myself to get comfortable with being, well, seriously lost.
On the other hand, I count myself fortunate the first time to have been with a posse of friends with whom I could share a lot of laughter at our ludicrous predicament; and the second time to have had a companion by my side who loves me enough to help me find my way when I am lost, knowing there will be other moments when I will be there to help him.
The labyrinth was a pilgrimage, the maze an adventure. I am thankful for both.