LABYRINTH WALK: The 10th annual Sacred Walk to the New Year is planned Dec. 30 through Jan. 1 at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Hours are 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, 6 a.m. Wednesday to 1:30 a.m. Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free. For more information, call 482-4132.

Author Night: Marshall Umpleby returns to Author Night from 7-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 5, at the Ashland branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. In Umpleby's latest book, "Delayed Steal: Baseball Stories," a man's relationship with his father coincides with the twists, turns, and surprises experienced in the game of baseball. From a sandlot in Massachusetts at the turn of the century to an old Stadium-cum-Wal-Mart in present day Oregon, the reader is taken from one game to the next, with father and son ever present either on the field or in the stands. Author Night is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Public Library. Call 774-6996.

birds in song: The Friends of the Talent Library will host a free event, "BirdSong: Birds as Metaphor in American Folk Music," an Oregon Chautauqua Program from the Oregon Council for the Humanities, from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Talent branch library, 101 Home St., Talent. Presenter Jeni Foster will explore the symbolism of birds within the rich heritage of American folk music. She weaves both traditional and contemporary folk songs throughout her narrative to expand upon the stories of everyday Americans and well-known moments in our country's history. Foster invites audience members to sing along on the choruses of songs chosen to illustrate her program. The poet Sharon Olds said, "To a poet, the human community is like the community of birds ... singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds." Bird flight and birdsong provide lyrical and potent metaphors for life, love, freedom, death, and spirituality in cultures throughout the world. The Oregon Council for the Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Call 535-4163.

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