Bali Silent Retreat, Tabanan. Bali, Indonesia.
Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial, private garden. Kfar Vradim, Israel.
Evanescent Corn Nibs. Muxia, Galicia, Spain.
At the time I lived in Toronto, stuck in a cubicled cliché, watching the days melt away as I toiled at a 9-5 government job. What saved me: joining a choir, doing art, running, cycling to work – and dragon boat racing. One day, a senior racer whom I’d befriended (a landscape architect when not on the water) asked if I’d walked the labyrinth near my office.
What’s a labyrinth? I asked, and where is it? I was baffled to learn that, tucked away behind skyscrapers in the heart of the city’s downtown core, on a spacious swath of lawn and trees adjacent to a small church in which the homeless sought refuge, a monumental labyrinth awaited. My friend and I met there for lunch, after which I spent dozens of lunch hours finding my own refuge seated on the stone benches skirting the path.
I went to escape the otherwise inescapable dead-endness of my job, the relentless boredom, and oppressive pace of big-city living. I desperately craved nature. Sometimes I sat and watched, sometimes I walked. Whenever I walked, slowly, mindfully, I would feel my self bubbling to the surface, blocking out all unwanted noise and stress.
I quit the job. Flew to Bangkok. Traveled Asia. Cycled in Cambodia – and fell through a bridge. Many broken bones, months of rehab and a first bathtub soak later, I gently put foot to ground and dared step outside. It wasn’t long before I sought refuge, again, in a labyrinth. With pain and limited mobility, there was no choice but to walk slowly. Mindfully. Each step a gift.
You need only step inside the sacred space – and begin to walk. You set your own rhythm, your own pace. Some find peace, to some are revealed answers; while others find nothing at all. Although a labyrinth walk is intended to be a solitary undertaking, some may choose to walk hand in hand – with a friend, a sibling, a partner, a child.
For more information, read A Primer on Labyrinths.
Now I thrive on envisioning, creating and birthing labyrinths on our good earth – such as the ones listed above. If you’d like to discuss the design and installation of an all-natural labyrinth in your garden, resort / villa or other open space, please get in touch!
When I saw your labyrinth I was surprised a happy surprise.
I loved it.
I loved the fact that you included the names of the soldiers under rocks.
I thought that maybe, maybe I’ll use it
But I did not know really how to
Which is mainly an excuse.
Before pergola arbors that we thought we should use the sukkah, that came to my brother’s grandchildren
And it really bothered me.
Ultimately did not matter anything with it
And I am happy at the sight of my garden labyrinth.
~ Nurit S., Israel