We invite You to Walk Our Outdoor Seven Circuit Labyrinth
Guide to Walking the Labyrinth (printable pdf file)
And please join us for our Monthly Labyrinth Walks
Evergreen Celebrates Labyrinth Journey
By Sheryl Goodspeed and Linda Mastro
Evergreen is proud to be the caretaker of its very own outdoor labyrinth. Made with bricks that were lovingly “planted” by a group of dedicated members, the structure blends beautifully with its location – a clearing in the woods along the banks of the Tred Avon River.
A labyrinth is a structure that guides the walker through a rounded series of paths or circuits. Unlike a maze that is designed to trick those who enter, the labyrinth leads the walker on a single path, so there is no possibility of getting “lost.” Guided by its twists and turns into the center and back out again, the walker can shift into a calmer, more reflective mood.
The labyrinth has been attracting people of all faiths and backgrounds for thousands of years. It is a tool that cultivates reflection and personal insight. Walkers turn to the labyrinth for healing and self-discovery. Although some Eastern Shore homeowners have installed labyrinths, Evergreen is the only site of a public labyrinth in the Talbot County area.
Evergreen’s founder Sarah Sadler was first introduced to the labyrinth in 1987 when she attended Jean Houston’s program on the Cultivation of Human Capacity. She remembers walking a labyrinth made of packed snow lit by the moon. “I got a wonderful feeling from walking that night,” Sadler remembers. “I hoped that some day I would be able to share this feeling of aliveness and well-being with my community.”
She wanted to bring the labyrinth to Easton when she opened the holistic learning center as Psyche’s Well in 1993. Space was limited in the center’s rented townhouse, so she used a portable canvas model, and even rented the Oxford Community Center for a labyrinth workshop. When Evergreen moved to its four-acre waterfront property near Easton Point in 1999, space needed to construct an outdoor labyrinth finally became available.
Building and maintaining a labyrinth opens up a Pandora’s Box of logistical concerns. An outdoor labyrinth must be constructed from material sturdy enough to withstand heat, rain and snow and placed for ease of mowing and weeding. Indoor labyrinths require space large enough to accommodate up to a 42-foot diameter.
Off and on since 1999, a group of Evergreen volunteers have been planning the installation of a permanent labyrinth. Several temporary versions – some sketched with white spray paint, others lined with orange flags and string – have come and gone.
Sarah Sadler, Lois Noonan, Candace Shattuck, along with Evergreen Cove’s office manager Cynthia Quast and many dedicated volunteers, persevered through the challenges of procuring space, time and funding. A sense of humor helped keep the vision in focus. The day after a team of Evergreen women completed a temporary outdoor labyrinth in the fall of 2003, the entire structure was buried under a blanket of snow. “Oh well,” said Karen Jenks, one of the labyrinth volunteers, “Mother Nature must have wanted to walk it first!”
Other labyrinth devotees kept a positive attitude by looking back on “peak” moments experienced at other sites. Shattuck, a massage therapist practicing at Evergreen , describes one such time. “I was winding my way toward the center of the indoor labyrinth at the Oxford Community Center,” she remembers. “A shaft of sunlight from a crack in a curtained window followed us into the center of the labyrinth, and lighted up the flowers in the center. It was pure magic.”
People who find peace and solace in the labyrinth enjoy introducing it to others. Noonan talks of the fun she has had watching children dancing playfully along its paths. Candace Shattuck set up a labyrinth on the grounds of the Quaker Meeting House in Easton as a way of teaching children a form of meditation.