McKellar Park Candlelight Labyrinth
September 29, 2007
This annual event takes place in my neighborhood park and is sponsored by the local community centre and coordinated to coincide with the Fall Festival in the Park. This year was the third time I have hosted this labyrinth walk. This year I collaborated with the local community group who organize the Fall Festival as well as Dragon Fly Dance Alternatives.
We began the set up at noon with the help of 3 neighbors and a few children helping out. The labyrinth was 58’ across and the walls were made of paper bags with a shovelful of sand and a tea light. The set up went well and we were finished in 2 hours. Anne Dugan came by and interviewed me for an article in the local neighborhood paper. My son Danny climbed to the top of the baseball backstop with a friends blackberry and took and picture. The photo was emailed on the spot to the reporter and ended up in the newspaper. Technology is amazing when it works!
Along with the labyrinth walk I had coordinated with the Ottawa Horticultural Therapy Interest Group [of which I am a member] to have Jenny Anderson a local horticulturalist present an illustrated talk on the use of the labyrinth in the landscape. The talk was scheduled for 6:00 and ended at 7:00 in order for the participants to be able to help in the lighting of the labyrinth.
Barbara Roblins a dance and movement educator had arranged for her classes of children to join us in the park for a sharing for the parents and to do a short dance in the labyrinth. While the children were getting ready and lighting their candle lanterns I decided to light the outer ring of the labyrinth in a gesture of welcome. The children lead us into the labyrinth and what a amazing metaphor it was to be lead on the path of life by young innocent children.
We had more people than we have ever had, some say about 300. While I did say a few words of welcome at the beginning of the evening it was clear that people who came needed more of an orientation to the labyrinth.
On a positive note, late in the evening when I decided to walk the labyrinth myself I meet a friend in the centre who said she was trilled to be a part of the event and she said she felt this was the kind of thing people where aching for but couldn’t name.
Your comments and suggestion are always most welcome.