The Labyrinth: Gone and For Ever

The Labyrinth

Originally uploaded by anselm23

I’ve received word through back-channels that the labyrinth I built at my old school has been disassembled. The person who reported it to me is sad, and I don’t blame her. It became part of my spiritual practice, and hers, to walk it while our dogs were playing together in the field.

It served its purpose, though. As you can see in the photo, the ground around the labyrinth was muddy and misshapen, the result of too many trucks and bulldozers. The pond behind was really only a drainage ditch, to help leach water out of a newly-built baseball field, and help it be suitable ground for playing America’s pastime. There were heaps of dirt nearby that no one knew what to do with.

And then I built the labyrinth.

After a year of the ground seeming dead and destroyed, that spring the ground came back to life. Grasses and wildflowers sprouted around the labyrinth, and marsh reeds appeared in the pond. Quaking aspens and a small willow took root around the water. Ducks swam in the pond. One day, I startled a great blue heron from the waters, and it flew off to the west, while I observed sunrise.

In time I added markers for the solstice sunrises and sunsets. The baseball field started getting used. It became the place where the campus let their dogs play. Kids occasionally did science projects nearby. I used the labyrinth and the places around it to teach the basics of archaeo-astronomy.

And then I left.

Two years later — probably five years after I built it — it’s gone. But the changes it wrought in the landscape persist, apparently. The pond is a place of thriving life, and the land has recovered. It belongs to nature again, where before it was just a post-construction wasteland. That means it served its purpose.

And that’s what magic does. I have more thoughts on this, but I’ll post them later — I’m about to have brunch. THat’s a different kind of magic.

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    • It is really sad. And yet, these things pass away. It’s not like I sank 2.5 ton boulders into the ground to make the labyrinth, such that it could never be moved again.

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