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Talking labyrinth a lovely place to be

In this age of the “Tao of Physics,” in which all things are interrelated, my owner has allowed me to tell you about myself.

I am the Spirit of the Labyrinth garden path and reside on the banks of Barker Creek, a major salmon stream that flows into Dyes Inlet of Puget Sound in Washington State.

My creation came about when my owner read “Walking the Sacred Path” by Lauren Artress.

The idea of my being designed based on the origins from the Island of Crete was exciting to me.

Andre, a landscaper, enthusiastically saw my potential and asked whether he could create his own design. I felt this was inspirational on his part, and I waited with anticipation as I was about to be created.

For days Andre, with only a shovel, dug the paths within this one-acre site without even looking at the pattern he had left with my owner.

I was finished by Easter and was honored to be the site of a memorial for a lady who had walked me before passing away. She had asked her daughter to hold her service on this site.

It was a deeply moving day with many of her friends and relatives arriving with objects from the seashore, so very symbolic of the life she had led. The celebrant was a Cowlitz shaman who had previously blessed me as a spiritual path. He walked along my circuitous route chanting melodious tones to the heavens while reverently performing a ritual — sending smoke skyward from his smudge pot. For this ritual he used a cherished feather once belonging to Chief Seattle.

It gives me much pleasure to realize how many lives I have touched. I have seen therapists, the young and old, even church groups quietly come to visit. Of course, the young children love to run around me, which is great fun for them as they go back and forth until reaching the center.

I am not a myth, but a mystical path where people of all ages come to walk, meditate and pray to the gods of nature and the spirits of the Cowlitz tribe.

Mary Bertrand lives in Ashland.

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