Jun. 15th, 2017

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Yesterday someone posted a labyrinth finder website link, so I looked it up and located a labyrinth not far from us. This one's in Allen, Tx., the suburb one over from us. The labyrinth is actually on land owned by the local First Presbyterian Church, but is also noted on the (next door) Methodist Church's site online. 

So this morning, after walking a bit at the nature reserve, I popped in there, just to see what it  was like.  

It's an interesting hybrid, combining a labyrinth, a garden, and the twelve stations of the cross. The man who laid it out evidently put those twelve 'rest and contemplate' stops into the fabric of the labyrinth. 
(This photo is taken from the edge of the property)

So I started walking the labyrinth. It was full of native plants and wildflowers, with places to sit and contemplate. I was, admittedly, too distracted by the plants to concentrate much. 


I was not alone in the garden, either, as there were multiple inhabitants who were perplexed by my refusal to walk in a straight line. 




The cottontails kept trying to guess which direction I was going, but the path of the labyrinth forces one to turn and change direction a lot, so I was annoying them.  



Plus there were some interesting specimens: 


This looks like a white version of stachys (lamb's ear). Even though it looks a bit odd, it's perfectly healthy.  There were several interesting plants, including one of the loveliest red yuccas I've ever seen, and a huge prickly pear. 

As I was nearing the end of the pathway (I'm a believer in following the path--otherwise why are you in a labyrinth at all?) , an older woman in gardening gear came out of the church and told me a bit about the garden/labyrinth.  

Among other things, it's a community effort. Apparently it was originally built with the help of some young miscreants from the nearby court, members of the local church, and...Mormon missionaries. This may be a regularly scheduled thing for them, because the gardener (Nita) told me that some were coming at 10 to help weed and water.  

Also, the garden doesn't have sprinklers. There's one spigot near the middle, and they can carry buckets of water to needy plants from there. Therefore, the bulk of the plants are native or drought-tolerant ones. Nita also told me that the majority of them were donated or bought on sales at local nurseries over the years since the labyrinth was first built in 2012. 

Here is, by the way, the aerial picture from their facebook page: 




That's just to show you that the scale is pretty large for a labyrinth.  So after I talked to Nita, I finished my trip to the center and left a penny there.  And then--even though I would normally go back the way I came, I took the cheater's way out. 

All in all, it was a pretty amazing thing.  

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J. Kathleen Cheney

July 2017

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