I have a little note here from last year: a child at church asked in passion- ate terms why we were replacing our labyrinth, which they thought was more interesting and unique than the brick one, and why we were taking out so many juniper bushes where creatures lived. I had mixed feelings about those changes too. I usually feel that way about changes, even ones that I want.
I was part of the crew that created the previous labyrinth in the fall of 2004. Teenagers and kids from UUCPA and the UU Fellowship of Red- wood City did peace activities all day, spread lots of sand to create the base, and carefully laid river stones to make the paths. We painted our names and messages of peace on some of the stones, though of course they faded with the sun and rain. I drew the classic Cretan labyrinth onto the sand myself to show where the rocks would go. It WAS uniquely ours, and it was a little sad to say goodbye to it. The reason we put in a new labyrinth was that we had always wanted one that was a bit bigger, and that would be flat so that the littlest kids could use it without tripping, and we could do cool things there like hold weddings. I hope that a year later, you’ve explored the new labyrinth and enjoyed it.
I did learn late in our old labyrinth’s life that some kids at church
liked rearranging the paths. That was a cool thing about our river-stone labyrinth that you can’t do with the new one. The up side of the new one is that its path keeps leading in and out of the center as a labyrinth is meant to (the old one sometimes developed dead ends . . . !), but the great thing about making your own is that it’s so creative and fun. So I really encourage you to keep making your own labyrinths. In your yard, in the Til Evans Garden, on the beach–anywhere you have some space and something to make the lines with. Take a picture before it’s rearranged by waves or feet–I’d love to see it!
The reason we took out so many of the junipers was that we wanted people to be able to see that there is a church building here! The new garden really invites passersby in, and even as you drive past you have
a much clearer view through a peaceful garden to our lovely building, where there used to be rather scary bushes that seemed to say “Go away,” like the creepy trees in front of a haunted house. And sure enough, lots of new friends have come to church this year. My daughter was very dismayed about losing the junipers nearest the building, because she and her friends liked to play in there, and that made it sad for our family.
But there’s something really cool about the plants we’ve put in their place: they are all native to our region. Having lots of different kinds of plants that all evolved here alongside the animals and insects of this region means that we are helping those critters to keep living where they evolved. We are helping preserve the diversity of this area, and that’s a really good thing to do for the earth.
Our Water Communion service will be on August 23, and at the close of the service we’ll bring the gathered waters out to the desert willow
tree in the memorial garden and give it our water. I hope to see you then, if not before. And that you will tell me what you think of the garden, the benches, the Little Free Library that has just been added, the labyrinth, and the plants and animals living there–the things you like about them and the things you don’t. —Blessings, Amy