Author Kate Forsyth who is facilitating an upcoming writers retreat titled Mythic Creativity stayed over recently to plan her retreat with Kinchem and Shannon. Over a glass of wine Kate suggested it would be great if Springfield had a Labyrinth, to which Kinchem responded “great idea, Peter can make one! He'll work it out”.
A location was decided, down near the quails and lower dam. Then it was over to me. I had no idea about Labyrinths. Mazes yes, Labyrinths no.
When I went investigating there were dozens of different designs developed over the ages. I liked the most ancient, known as the Classic Labyrinth, it had seven rings and was first discovered on a clay tablet from Pylos Greece in 1200 BC.
I thought 'that can't be too hard', I was wrong. It did my head in when it came to on-site dimensions. I persevered and something in the back corner of my brain dropped in and - bingo! At least in my head I had a plan.
The first issue was what width should the seven paths be? Knowing I will be in charge of maintenance and mowing made it easy - it had to be the width of our smallest ride-on mower.
I set the dividing walls between the paths at half the path width. The site from edge to edge would be about 30 metres, so it’s not small, in fact 365 paces to get to the centre and the same to rewind out.
It took me about a day to get it out of my head onto graph paper and then cut onto the site. The grass had been let go in preparation for the Food Forest designed for that paddock which were due to be planted out next month. The native grasses had grown to just under a metre high so cutting the paths low gave me instant walls between walking paths. Even I was amazed it all worked out and looks exactly like the diagram.
We now often walk it at sunset as it slopes towards the western boundary of the farm. It possesses a real energy that you feel on entering, especially in the twilight. One way to work with the energy is to pose a question or hold an idea at the entrance, you then walk through the form, pausing briefly at the centre then return to the entrance. You wind yourself in and unwind yourself out. All up it’s about 730 steps.
You don’t step across the walls, except for three of our dogs who are not known for patience, thankfully the littlest, Louis at just 30cm needs to stay the course to get out, as he cant see above the grass! He enjoys the meditation though.
On your next visit to Springfield the entrance will be awaiting your question.