Mar 31, 2011

Spring Labyrinth

WetMerlinLabyrinths are blossoming in Marin and Merlin is right in the center of the latest. A few years ago, we sniffed out a likely location along a neighborhood footpath and with gentle persistence, and various committee meetings, the Christ Presbyterian Church Labyrinth was approved. Michelle Fouts heads the Labyrinth Task Force with Jerry Current as engineer. Joined by members of the congregation including scout troops, groundbreaking was in mid-January 2011. There's been steady Saturday progress.

7CircuitMy favorite 7-circuit Medieval Chartres style single pathway mirror design is the chosen pattern. The sequence of turns leading in are repeated on the way out, so we can use one color brick to the right on the way in, and a second color for the way out. We marked the pattern with string in the grass to show the potential of the space. After weeds and topsoil were moved and leveled, rock and sand made a bed for gopher wire and landscaping cloth.DirtLabyrinth Severe storms in mid-March whipped up the cloth, tangling the spray painted pattern of fabric strips into twisted noodles against the back fence. We re-set the pattern, anchoring the cloth with handy boards and stumps. The wind and rain laughed at our efforts and ripped out the cloth again, WetLabyrinthClothso we returned armed with wheelbarrow loads of bricks and sorted the storm mess. My Labyrinth Intro photo presentation March 20 celebrated the Spring Equinox and invited walkers to send water prayers to Japan in a Global Healing Response. The big work parties this Saturday and next, April 2 & 9, will set the bricks and fill the path with sand, gravel and bark. The gardeners are gathering the surrounding landscaping and we're on track for an Easter dedication.

From the depth of winter darkness through early spring storms we build towards the hope of full spring and the promise of Easter. The labyrinth teaches hope. Like ripples from a pebble dropped in a still pond, the circuits of the labyrinth pattern radiate out from our hearts. WetLabyrinthMerlinGroundcloth glows with the painted pattern as we splash along the path. The bricks will anchor the pattern into permanence, bringing the labyrinth of our imagination into physical realty.

The ancient pattern of the labyrinth balances right and left, verbal and non-verbal, body and mind. Walking the pathway literally changes our point view as we turn left then right, then left again. Engaging the body in walking allows the mind freedom to soar, and the quiet voices of creativity and spirit are heard. Walking the labyrinth re-integrates our separate selves and we begin to re-member and re-claim our clear, whole self. Walking our individual BrickMerlinLabyrinthpath alone, we see that we are also walking the same path together. Mindfully placing every paw and footstep with careful awareness, we are invited to breath deep this precious moment of life.

Merlin is keen on labyrinths and likes walking with people who walk them. Dogs embody optimism, always ready for a walk, a biscuit, a road trip. Labyrinths, spring, dawn, dogs- holders of hope. Keep walking. Spring is walking to meet us.


Kate Farrell said...

Go Merlin! Wishing you a joyful spring with a spring in your step.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Loved this. Merlin, you are such a talented dog. Did I tell you I need a labyrinth at the entrance to my house? Can you come and help me figure out what to do, but in squares (as in recycled tiles from my old house)?

Anonymous said...

Love Merlin! What a sweetheart!
Your yard will be absolutely beautiful when you're done! I envy your plans for it.
And congratulations for Merlin's "doggie blog" award!

Deborah said...

Merlin, this post takes me to my happy place.

You look calm and peaceful, standing in the brick path. I've got a post for you on Dog-to-Dog Greeting. Of course, you know how to be polite in Doggish. But some dogs don't so please share this to help dogs live in peace.

Your friend, Deborah at

Cindy Pavlinac said...

Kate, Wishing you springy Spring too!
We remember you fondly from many writer gatherings, especially when I met Snoopy: Merlin's Road Trip: Merlin Meets Snoopy
Looking forward to helping with new book covers.

Cindy Pavlinac said...

YES, labyrinth assist. We can shift squares into circles with a little Merlin magic! Say when.

Cindy Pavlinac said...

Thanks for your kind woof. Adore your blog. Merlin was born on a Valley of the Moon ranch with Big Dogs (horses). You should see him in a cowboy hat!

Thanks for the reminder to send an announcement for the Redwood Writers member newsletter about our blog award.

Write on!!

Cindy Pavlinac said...

My humans have worked (& played) with me every day of my life since I was a wee fur ball, teaching me to be polite and respectful. Now I am welcomed where ever we romp and roam on our road trips, near and far. Your blog helps others learn too.

BTW, Fabulous banner portrait of you (and ME). Keep wagging!