Here we find an unusually designed labyrinth tucked into the birch woods at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks. Melissa, the office administrator, welcomed us and showed us the sanctuary, which is light and airy. This labyrinth puzzled me because, when I turned to the left, the path took me away and then to the center. But, the way out traced a different path. Then, when I repeated the journey and took the path to the right, I was immediately in the center and again, the journey out was by another path. I’ll have to ask Sandi Ohlen if she has encountered this type before. So, it is not unicursal. Perhaps this aspect is what was so unsettling to me and the experience didn’t really resonate with me. Then, again, perhaps I didn’t prepare myself as carefully as I could have to be open. But, it was certainly worth walking for a different perspective.
More satisfying was the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks Labyrinth, called “St. Therese of the Little Flowers Labyrinth and set back in an open space. One view is lovely but to the south is a ramshackle Quonset hut and some old vehicles. Unattractive. I am always puzzled why people seem not to consider the surroundings when creating something like a labyrinth. It is more than the labyrinth itself. To me, the space has to fit and be complementary.
The UU labyrinth had a nice texture underfoot. The Catholic one was of pea gravel with river rocks that lined the Chartres Design. Large! One small fireweed had sprouted, so, I took a picture, because of the name, “St. Therese of the Little Flower Labyrinth. After, Rich and I came back, showered and rested before heading out for supper. It’s been a long couple of days here in AK! How interesting to us that the Catholics and Unitarian Universalists both have labyrinths. Different ways to look at faith, similar symbols draw people together.