“God Bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there/And learn by going where I have to go.” The Waking, by Roethke
It was a beautiful, sunny May afternoon when 14 Penderites showed up to the first Pender Island Community Labyrinth work party on the front lawn of St. Peter Anglican Church. They were a diverse group of individuals (some from the parish and some not) including farmworkers, a firefighter, a yoga instructor, writers, a retired architect and a gardener.
After the work party and with ongoing volunteer labour, we have now laid two-thirds of the contemplative stones outlining the winding pathways. All of those participating appreciate the Diocese of British Columbia's Vison Fund grant of $2,500 toward construction of the labyrinth, which will enhance the Meditation Walk located in the woods behind the Anglican church. We have also received a further $2,500 from the Vision Fund to help host a fall labyrinth workshop/retreat. The community is busy putting together fundraising ideas so they can contribute a minimum of $2,500 toward the completion of this project. Seven hundred dollars has already been raised through two community events: the staging of the play Getting to Room Temperature and an organ recital with Michael Dirk.
Rob Ilsley, the church treasurer, has set up an easy-to-use online donation page through the Parish of Pender & Saturna on CanadaHelps. Although this project was initiated by members of St Peter Anglican Church on North Pender, the labyrinth will be a gift to the whole community, and is just the latest in a growing number of sacred walking spaces being developed in parks, hospitals, and schoolyards locally, nationally and internationally.
Photo by Jane Morley