I have fond memories of labyrinths but when I really think about it, when I put my mind to it, it didn’t seem that I have frequented a lot of different labyrinths. And I actually couldn’t tell you when I first walked a labyrinth. During my California time, but when?
I have this vague feeling that by the time I encountered the labyrinths of New Harmony, Indiana in 2005, I was already familiar with labyrinths. I loved the New Harmony labyrinths in their secluded, natural settings. The perfect spot for quiet contemplation, but that could pretty much describe everywhere in New Harmony.
The most popular labyrinth for me was probably the one at the Mercy Center in Burlingame. I was often at the Center for this and that—Taize services, retreats, workshops, massage. Whenever possible I visited their semi-private labyrinth surrounded by stone walls, trees, and flowers…in a garden setting. It was divine.
Next popular for me was the labyrinth at Westhope Presbyterian. It was located just off a busy street—a mulch walkway lined with rocks and surrounded by trees, bushes, and flowers. I was often meandering through the labyrinth as part of a half-day retreat.
I could never get into the labyrinth at Sunnyvale Presbyterian. Like the one at Westhope, it was right off of a busy street with little to block the view of labyrinth walkers from the passing cars. I definitely prefer a semi-private space for my contemplative walking.
Now back in Indiana I am on the look out for nearby labyrinths. I kicked off my recent Hoosier labyrinth experience with one at St. Francis in the Field in Zionsville. It was an all grass labyrinth, with the rows being mowed slightly lower than the edges of the labyrinth. Alas, it was off of a busy street (I am sensing a pattern here) with no seclusion from trees or landscaping.
My hunt for semi-private areas for quite time, including walking a labyrinth, continues.