For ten years, I have been walking a beautiful labyrinth handcrafted by two Edmonton women, Sheryl Ackerman and Jean Ure. On a large broadcloth base of blues and violets, they stitched down long strands of golden beads to form the classic Cretan labyrinth design. This portable labyrinth is set up four times every year in a local Edmonton community centre, Riverdale Hall.
Each quarterly walk occurs during one of the four seasons -- winter, spring, summer and autumn. Riverdale Hall has gloriously large windows through which the seasonal outdoors can be viewed as you walk. And a seasonally appropriate centerpiece is always placed at the labyrinth's centre, usually involving a candle, small altar cloth and flowers. The labyrinth room is silent except for a trickling fountain in the corner. Men, women and children of all ages come to walk on the appointed Saturday morning.
I fell in love with the Riverdale Labyrinth as soon as I first walked it in 2000. I have never seen such a creative or beautiful labyrinth anywhere else. (And coincidentally, Sheryl was one of the women who designed and created the hayfield labyrinth in Manitoba where I had my first labyrinth experience -- small world, isn't it?)
My next two posts will be poems I wrote which were inspired by the Riverdale Labyrinth.
[Photos © Sheryl Ackerman. Used by permission. Thanks, Sheryl!]