An Amazing Day!

On the morning of the Inauguration of the La Falda Labyrinth we dress up in clothes far dressier then the work clothes we worn the last five days.

Over breakfast we attempt to name this labyrinth. We talk about the words “prayer” and “meditation” and what works best in this culture. The words “community” and “healing” are ruled out altogether because they are too ‘new age’ in tone.

In order to finish the labyrinth in time for the Inauguration, a persistent team of five help cut the centerpieces from a huge, thick slab of recycled granite. They arrange the large pieces of stone in time for it to be grouted—really cemented—just within the twelve-hour time for it to dry.

We all walk the mile and a half to the labyrinth site a bit worried and find that the park maintenance man is sweeping the labyrinth with a broom. We smile, express our thanks and take pictures of him. Then our group walks it. The center is still a bit soft and will probably hold only two or three people at the same time. Since it is my role to welcome people into the labyrinth I am confident that I can have only a few people there at one time.

Soon many townspeople start turning up. We give a handout in Spanish

while more and more people keep arriving. Chris Katzenmeyer, the visionary and project manager arranges the ceremonial posts with the ribbons soon to be untied. Then the mayor turns up along with the local news media, which we met when they visited the day before. There is joyful expectation as Enrique draws the large crowd to silence.

When introduced I talk about the healing that needs to happen within each of us and in our families, our towns and in our countries. I invite people to walk it anytime they are in distress, anytime they have an important decision to make or anytime they are angry with a loved one. The people are serious and their many heads nod in agreement when the translation occurs.

Then we open the labyrinth and the mayor enters. Suddenly about 20 people burst through the entrance and begin, very close together, to walk the labyrinth. They all wind up in the center at the same time! I am nervous, hoping that the center holds. What a metaphor it would be if it caved in! I sent the translator in to gently hold others back from entering the center, but this was a very tense moment among our group members. The good news is the center held. And we—the builders from America— were flooded with warmth and gratitude for the gift of the labyrinth to the city of La Falda.

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