Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It Takes Many Hands to Make a Labyrinth

Carleton Place Community Labyrinth
2nd Annual Harvest Lantern Labyrinth Walk, September 25, 2010

6:10 pm. and we are elbow-to-elbow frantically filling hundreds of paper lunch bags with newly planed cedar candle holders, jiggling the votive candles into place, several worried glances skyward to check for storm clouds... the dark clouds are hovering...but so far we are dry...

A little boy arrives early. He stops several paces away and curious about the flurry of arms and elbows and paper bags and cardboard boxes asks: "What are you doing?"
"We're making a labyrinth, someone calls back,"want to help?"

Without hesitation, the child races forward, eager to pitch in, and becomes instantly immersed in the important job of placing hundreds of paper bags that will hold the evening's candlelight along the path. This little boy has become a part of the evening's event, much like the wonderful friends and family members who quietly appear and offer a helping hand when we most need it.

At this moment, it occurs to me why the public events that we hold for the labyrinth are so worthwhile; it takes a lot of work and cooperation to hold a successful event, but the labyrinth gives us all the opportunity to pause and enjoy life's moments... So it may rain (and it DOES!) But that's okay. People gather under the tents, warm up with Ronette's delicious apple cider, listen to our guest musicians Claire and Amanda, and share a joke about the drizzly weather.

As the day light dissipates and darkness transforms the site; a spiral path that people have walked for centuries emerges, twinkling and comforting, as a constant stream of people arrive. Little boys charge through the rows, mothers carry toddlers, little girls are dressed up for the occasion in their harvest best, and many others are simply pacing it out in a slower fashion, involved in a private thought or sorrow.

Each labyrinth experience is always a little different, but the outcome always feels the same as we survey the glowing site and heave a collective sigh of satisfaction. It takes many hands to make a labyrinth. We watch as perfect strangers, old friends and new friends come together to spend a couple hours walking together to celebrate harvest on a September evening in 2010.

Blog Post by Karen Kiddey, Photography Neil Haesler

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