The labyrinth story

July 15, 2008

I’m still trying to get back into rhythm, and blogging is part of that rhythm. Tiaan askedthat I tell the story of the Bushveld labyrinth, so here goes, I’ll try and keep it short:

I can’t remember how I first got introduced to labyrinths, was through blogging somehow. As the 20something camp grew closer, Tina came with the idea to make a labyrinth one evening, just a make-shift one. She experienced this on a camp earlier the year. Soon afterwards myself and Maryke(I think) came up with the idea to build a permanent one at Bad Se Loop. In this same time our class went to Good ShephardRetreat Centre and we walked the labyrinth there.

On Friday we arrived at the camp, and it was sometimes during the weekend that me and Maryke walked around the terrain, and found the place which were to become the home of the labyrinth. It was the perfect location, or so we thought. It was flat, large enough, out of the way, far enough from the campsite to be quite, near enough to use, and it was situated in this perfect hole (which we still can’t figure out how it was formed).

For the first hour or so on Monday Tommie, Maryke, Tiaan and Tina did the cleaning while I ran around and arranged for tools and stuff. Pretty soon they discovered the first rubbish. As we cleared out the labyrinth we discovered that we were building on an old rubbish dump. Suddenly the (relatively) small work of building a labyrinth became a huge task as we set out to clean the area. This became even more of a spiritual exercise after we wathed both An Inconvenient Truth and 11th Hour on Tuesday evening, and suddenly were reminded of our task to preserve the Earth.

Meanwhile we were searching for black rocks, since we decided to build it with black rocks to make it stand out against the ground. It must have been Wednesday when we started laying the first rocks. On Thursday morning some of the rocks were scattered. Their was another group camping on the terrain, and they obviously didn’t share our emotional ties to these rocks. By Thursday afternoon the labyrinth was completed, and we walked it for the first time. This was a “thin place”, if ever there was one. Here we were, many of us really stiff and sore after working quite hard for 4 days, all dirty and sweaty, getting quiet, sharing with each other what we have read about labyrinths, and walking it.

On Friidaymorning some rocks were again shattered, but oh well, we just put them back again, maybe by next year the group that camped their would know what the labyrinth is…

For me, there is great symbolism in our Rubish-dump-bushveld-labyrinth. In how we cleared out rubish to create a space to experience God, and to find yourself. I think it says something about what our task as Christians is, to create such spaces all over life.

I posted some photo’s of the labyrinth here.

3 Responses to “The labyrinth story”

  1. Roger Saner Says:

    Great story, Cobus – and the symbolism about creating a place of prayer where once there was a rubbish dump is very cool. Welcome back!

  2. tiaan Says:

    Jap…I know I only worked like two of the four days really hard, but I drove the black rocks around, yay! I didn’t think it would be such an increeible thing as it turned out to be. Walking it by sunset in the bushveld…one of the best ways to get close to God in Africa.

  3. Barbara Brown Says:

    Greeting from Canada. Your blog was recommended in reference to a blog I have about the experience of making labyrinths. I thought it might be of interest to you as well. Pretty amazing to be communicating halfway around the globe with someone else who is interested in the ancient idea of the labyrinth. Very cool.

    Barbara
    http://walkingcircles.wordpress.com/


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