I have never thought of myself as a “labyrinth person.” I’ve just walked a handful: a canvas one laid out on the parish hall floor at Grace Memorial church in Portland, a rough river-rock arrangement on the bank of the Breitenbush River north of Detroit Lake, the wonderful wooded labyrinth at Church of the Resurrection in Eugene, and a labyrinth mown into a field on a farm in the hills west of Belfast, Maine. Recently I visited a labyrinth a Menucha in the Columbia River Gorge, nestled into an old rose garden, hidden by trees and made from local rock.
Everyone who is a labyrinth person probably remembers their “first time,” maybe not the first time they walked a labyrinth but the first time they began to get what all the fuss is about. For me it was when I first visited the labyrinth in Ashland. Built on a busy street corner, it is a gift from Trinity Episcopal Church to the beautiful town of Ashland, the spiritual-but-not-religious heart of Southern Oregon. The labyrinth is an inviting sign of abundance and life for all who pass by. It is surrounded by plants and lovely places to sit. A water feature draws walkers in and through. A sacred burial ground flanks one arc of the labyrinth.
I have a dream of a labyrinth at St. David’s, where Harrison Street meets 28th Place, providing a similar holy invitation as one pathway into the sacred.