My latest Labyrinth experiment took me back to the jackdaw grove, better prepared. I’d spent a while cutting strips of fabric to use for markers, and large triangles to help me define turns in the design. I knew I didn’t have enough fabric for the whole thing, but I got the first six circles, which reduced the need for foraging and sped up the whole process. It took three of us 2 hours working flat out to create the 12 circles labyrinth. We all walked it. A toddler and parent walked a bit of it, and a nice man we didn’t know came and walked it too, which felt really validating.
By the end of the process, I had the same cleared out, free floating headspace I normally have to spend a day walking to achieve. While this was intensive on the body (2 hours full of bending and squatting has left my muscles a tad sore today!) It’s not on the scale of time or impact as a 15 mile walk, but still does wonderful restorative things to my head.
It was a lovely afternoon. A buzzard, a raven and a kestrel flew over (this was not a ‘wild’ space). There were little whirlwinds playing in the leaves, and the sun shone down up on us.
Strips of fabric have charm, but they take a lot of cutting, and they catch in the wind easily. They need weighting down with found items. Leaves tend to catch on trousers and boots as you go past, and can cause havoc with rearranging paths. Better not to forage recently cut branches with dead leaves on them. It is better to make a bigger labyrinth with a more generous width of path or some of the tight turns near the centre are a bit awkward. This, however, means using more material. Very thick string/very thin rope is good – we had some white cord left over from a different project, it stays still in the wind, shows up well and isn’t heavy to carry.
I have added ten small carbon poles from a broken tent to my kit bag – as these will help delineate the turns. I just happened to have exactly the right number lying about!
It’s been a really exciting experience, walking the labyrinth we had made was something of a high. I know I can do it, so I’m thinking about where, when and how to do it again – and how to improve the kit. More white cord, I think…
Here’s an image from the beginnings of the labyrinth…