Hospital Healing Garden

My final days in Minneapolis were spent with Martha Erickson a woman in her 80s who is Master Gardener, lay minister and labyrinth builder.

Whilst working with a group of friends to create a hospital healing garden Martha received an anonymous letter suggesting the inclusion of a labyrinth in the project. This sparked a fact finding mission to Chartres in 1999 to discover what a labyrinth actually was followed by creative efforts over 10 years to raise the necessary funds for the labyrinth installation.

Taking Labyrinths into Prisons

One interesting application of work with the labyrinth that involved both Martha and Lisa was taking it into a women’s prison. Some of the women reported back that it was their one and only chance for peace and quiet. The fact that these weren’t allowed to take anything back to their cells led to Martha’s interest in potential applications for finger labyrinths: at least they could take away and continue to benefit from a pattern on a piece of paper. When Lisa told me that they’re not allowed to be touched nor to touch each other it made me wonder what it’s like trying to live like that.

Annie Young

I can’t end the Minnesota chapter without mentioning the extraordinary Annie Young, an artist who is blind. I had the opportunity to visit her exhibition and hear the background stories to some of her beautiful and richly varied works. Check them out here.

Solar Eclipse labyrinth

A few more favourite Minnestota photos below, including Lisa in the memorial labyrinth she built on the day of the solar eclipse, as well as her full moon Owl. The last pic is the labyrinth at Concordia University. It has an unusual appearance with its tall flowers and is lovely to walk through.

Deep thanks

I’m running out of superlatives to describe the friendship and hospitality that has been extended to me in this country. I thank these three wonderful women; Lisa Moriarty​, Ellen​ ​Schultz and Martha Erickson for sharing their lives, their work and their time with me.