When we lost 95% of our lavender plants to weather-related conditions in 2018, we decided to replant them in 2020 in a brand new location - high and dry on top of the septic system on the front lawn! But rather than having rows as in previous years, we created a new attraction...a lavender labyrinth :-)
Did you know that cultures around the world have created labyrinths and mazes for thousands of years? They served a wide range of functions. Mazes, popular with the ancient Greeks and Persians, posed an intellectual challenge of how to escape. The Romans are known to have used labyrinths more than a kilometer in length to exercise and train centurions. For the Celts, they were artistic creations that served a more spiritual purpose – like their wonderful “endless knot” designs, the labyrinth symbolized the eternal paradox of the infinite beauty of the universe and the limited reality of our lives.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, labyrinths were used as a form of spiritual exercise, a kind of method or tool to aid meditation. The labyrinth represented pilgrimage, and often served as an alternative for people who were not able to leave their homes and families to participate in one of the major pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome or Santiago de Compostella. Our labyrinth is based on the design of the Rose Labyrinth set into the stone floor of the gothic cathedral in Chartres, France, which dates from the early 13th Century.
Technically, mazes and labyrinths are very different. Whereas the purpose of a maze is to trick or entrap, the labyrinth is a meditation path intended to support reflection and guide you to the centre. In the labyrinth, as in life, there may be many twists and turns, even surprises and seeming reversals, but the path will take you surely to the heart of your journey and home again. As you begin, pause at the entrance to gather your thoughts, and perhaps to set an intention or frame a question for yourself. At the centre, take a moment to note any new realizations, and prepare to return with peace to your day’s agenda. Above all, we hope you enjoy!
Credit: DG Evans
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