Labyrinth Pilgrimage in the Ohio Valley

handsome natural stone and stepables

handsome natural stone and steppables.

Most of the way to Tipp City, Ohio, was on Interstates but the route was rural a great deal of the way.  Low lying mist in the valleys when I left home.  A warm breeze and cicadas ? in October.  Strange.  Hawks and vultures overhead.  Normal, Illinois, has an interesting labyrinth at First Presbyterian Church off College Avenue.  Tucked behind the church and beyond the Peace Garden.  The labyrinth is set aside from the wide expanse of mowed and sprayed lawn.  The church is in a new suburb and reflects the sterile nature of the area.

Mowed, clipped, exotic species.  The labyrinth has nice trees planted around it that will grow up and create a private space.  The stone is native sedimentary and steppables – maybe thyme – create the borders.  I appreciated those and the geese winging overhead.  Could have done without the pungent odor of the recently applied spray which really spoke to the true nature of the area.   Too bad.

Labyrinth off Meridian St.

Second Presbyterian, Indianapolis, IN

My next stop was along the top of Indianapolis, IN, at the Second Presbuyterian Church off Meridian.  The GPS actually worked pretty well…mostly.  C 3 – Cars on the nearby road, Cottonwoods shimmying in the breeze – just like in Kansas in October, and Cicadas. In October in Indiana?  Very strange.  This labyrinth I liked.  Sited well in spite of the road. The craftsmanship is amazing. And, the site and labyrinth design fit the aristocratic nature of the church.  The concrete slab and delineating labyrs are textured which adds dimension to the design.  The setting more natural.

Vortex at the UU labyrinth

Guardian Tree

Not far to the east is the Unitarian Universalist Labyrinth off Meridian.  What a contrast.  An interesting shape, but disappointing in that it needs attention badly.  Weedy.  However, the twisted guardian maple shading the space had energy such that when I tried to take a picture of it, I could hardly stand!  Venerable, varied,vexing and vivacious it is just the right complement to the space.  I was reminded of many of the trees I have climbed and of the maple in our front yard at 1080.  I liked this one but wanted to stay and pull the weeds and generally straighten things up.  So UU – the disheveled part and, well, maybe the “tidying” impulse. But, that is probably just me because I care about these goofy labyrinths.  But, this one had character and lots of weeds unlike the prissy First Pres labyrinth in Normal. So, what is normal?

Saturday is the first day of the Labyrinth Facilitator training. Ideas afloat.

Bloomington, IL Methodist Church

Prayer Labyrinth

On the drippy return trip home saw me stopping in Bloomington, IL, to walk the incredibly sweet Wesley United Methodist Church Prayer Labyrinth.  It is sited in a small courtyard accessible from the street, yet private with a wrought iron fence and lovely flowers and plants embracing the bricks.  “A five-circuit medieval design winds 160 feet through 13 turns.” A sacred and tender place for reflection and centering.  Then, a delightful latte at a local cafe.


About marionpatterson

From the Heartland: Marion is a master educator, writer, Veriditas Trained and Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, a member of the Veriditas Council, creator and workshop promoter, and environmental educator. A Holy Fire II Usui and Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki Master Teacher, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministries Certified Practitioner (HTSM-CP), Advanced Integrated Energy Therapy practitioner she seeks to connect with others in their knowledge and spiritual quests. She leads Healing Talking Circles using the principles embraced by indigenous populations and in Restorative Justice Circles. She and her husband, Rich, co-own Winding Pathways LLC and live in Eastern Iowa. "Encouraging people to create wondrous yards." Go outside and Play!
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