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Prairie Paths

PrairiePaths2In 1995 we began a prairie restoration project at Sunset Beach. From the meandering paths, we now see big and little bluestem, side oats, switch, Indian and gama grasses, leadplant, white and purple prairie clover, trefoil, prairie smoke, hawkweed, coneflower, stiff tickseed, vervain, butterfly weed, butterflies, birds and bees! The prairie quietly evolves with the changes of weather, soil conditions, controlled fires and other dynamics of nature.

Solstice 2003, George and Sherry designed and tilled and seeded an 11 circuit, 75’ Chartres-style labyrinth into the North edge of the prairie. A twelfth circuit was added as a gathering ring with entrances from the N,S,E W. In mid-July, family and friends helped “plant” 1,200 stones onto the seeded pattern to define the path. A heart shaped sitting boulder rests in the center of the labyrinth. The call of the loon, hoot of the owl, and bright full moon completed the dedication of this sacred space.

Two more labyrinths were prepared in 2009 for the Joyful Circles retreat at Sunset Beach. The classical labyrinth was mowed into the field, providing space for a candle lit evening walk.  The Breaking Wave, designed and built by George, combines the labyrinth path with symbolic lake waves from the northwest winds.  In designing the labyrinth, the lower paths of the Classic design were stretched sideways, creating the flow of a breaking wave. Upon entering the labyrinth, one is pulled down the path, “bouncing” off the large boulder and on to the cusp of the wave~ then drawn toward the receding swell, only to rise again to the top of the wave.  The winds and waves are metaphors of daily life.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol of sacred space. The geometric pattern appears complex, but the path is simple. It meanders to the center and returns to a new beginning.  Our labyrinth walkers have been children and adults, gardeners, rock hounds and mathematicians~the curious, the prayerful and the playful.

Come experience the journey of the labyrinth and walk the paths of the prairie grass and the wildflower field.

Quiet your Mind. Open your heart. Exercise your Spirit.