I was keen to visit the Minneapolis/ St Paul/ Hudson area because I had been told it had one of the highest concentrations of labyrinths in the country. This is partly due to the indomitable Lisa Moriarty who is responsible for building a good number of them.
In visiting labyrinths with Lisa I was the beneficiary of many of their background stories as well as walking several that aren’t on the worldwide labyrinth locator. My host and other travelling companion in this area was Ellen Schultz: professor of nursing, member of the Minnesota Holistic Nurses Association and Healing Touch therapist and generally kind and lovable soul.
One of the first labyrinths that Ellen and I visited was the one at Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury. It was laid out within a healing garden and was the Dancing Woman design which Lisa developed after her mother died of breast cancer. In her final weeks of life she and Lisa joked about the ‘dance ’they had to do together in moving her from place to place with her arms around Lisa’s neck. The design is a variation of the Baltic labyrinth which has a longer path plus a ‘quick exit’ option. Either entry is underneath the woman’s arms.
No guns allowed
Another point of difference for me in visiting this place was the sign on the front door of the hospital stating that guns were banned from the premises. I have seen these signs all over this region: on churches, the children’s hospital and a funeral home (or celebration of life center). It’s comforting that guns are prohibited in these places. Sad that the signs are necessary.
13 days, 48 labyrinths
I have spent 13 days in this area and in that time have walked 48 labyrinths so suffice to say it has been an enriching and at times overwhelming experience. I even had the opportunity to help build one. When I was at Uni we learnt of housemaids knee and tennis elbow. I’m going on the record to name labyrinth walkers hip!