Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Little labyrinth on the prairie ...

Chariton's labyrinth --- so far as I know the only one in the region --- has come up in conversation a couple of times during the last few weeks. So while nursing an ankle twisted during Saturday's clean-up extravaganza, I decided that a walk out to it Sunday afternoon would be good exercise.

Besides, if the ankle gave out I'd probably have been able to crawl back through the grass and across a hay field to the emergency room.

After turning into the Lucas County Health Center's north driveway, I came up behind a farmer aboard an old tractor with baler behind. He had planned to bale the windrowed hay on the hospital field, but a wheel had just fallen off the baler. Not an auspicious start to that afternoon project. My trip went better.

The simplest way to get to the labyrinth --- located on private property; be respectful --- is to drive to the east end of the hospital's east parking lot, then walk up around the berm you'll find there and east across a hay field toward the gazebo visible in the distance. It's not far. The labyrinth is just north of the gazebo. You also can drive in across the open field from the south I believe, but I've never done that.

Once at the labyrinth, enter from the west. Keep in mind that the point of a labyrinth is meditative --- you're not supposed to head straight for the middle and plop yourself down on one of the concrete benches. Instead, follow the curving paths arranged in a complex pattern to the center, sit down and think for a while, then follow the path back out. The trips in and out take a few minutes --- but that's the point.

The only sounds Sunday afternoon involved wind and crickets.

The labyrinth is minimally maintained --- grass kept relatively short immediately around and within bounds of the path. The path itself is in pristine condition. I can't imagine how much effort must have gone into laying it out, installing forms and pouring the concrete.

I wrote about the labyrinth last August and nothing has changed. I did not carry through with a plan to look up the newspaper articles published as it was being developed or talk to any of its prime movers, still very much alive and kicking.

I'm just glad that it's still there.

Addendum: Thanks to an anonymous comment, here's a link to the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator that includes information about other Iowa labyrinths.


Anonymous said...

These are labyrinths located in Iowa that have been submitted to the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator. A classical labyrinth makes for a wonderful walk.

Lucinda Burkhalter said...

aThere is a lapyrinth over in Creston, north of the YMCA building out by SWCC, with beautiful flowers planted, but now at the end of the floral season now! Lucinda