World Labyrinth Day celebrated at Riverfront Park

labyrinth walk
The labyrinth in Riverfront Park. Photo by Betsy Thurston

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – World Labyrinth Day was celebrated nationwide Saturday, May 4, 2019. In Bellows Falls, an organized walk was scheduled at the Labyrinth and Poet’s Seat on Mill Street and roughly 22 attendees walked the labyrinth beside the Connecticut River.

Putney resident Sadelle Wiltshire, member of The Labyrinth Society, attended the event and expressed an interest in future ones. Ideas were shared including a Summer Solstice celebration and future group gatherings. A woman from Meriden, N.H. suggested a moonlit or candlelight walk.

Labyrinths are found all over the world and are considered a form of meditation, offering a single path intricately wound to the center. To exit, one simply turns around and rewinds back out to the beginning of the path. Nordic pagans believed labyrinths helped to overcome difficulties and bring luck. Walking a labyrinth is a personal journey and everyone experiences something different.

On World Labyrinth Day, thousands of people around the world participated in walks at 1 p.m. local time to “walk at 1 as one.” The labyrinth walk in Bellows Falls also started at 1 p.m. to coincide with walks happening along the East Coast.

The Labyrinth Society was founded in 1998 with a simple goal of bringing labyrinths to the world and currently there are 7,000 members on Facebook. Their mission is to support, maintain, and use labyrinths to serve the global community while providing education, networking, and opportunity to experience transformation.

This year TLS meets in Maryland for their annual gathering Oct. 18-20. It is a place for labyrinth enthusiasts from all over the world to share, learn, and celebrate. In last year’s retrospective by Kathryn Mclean, TLS research chair, she stated “…the careful and intentional community preparation for a labyrinth is a precious, generative and very important part of the process, helping communities to take an intentional look at the hopes and purpose and ways of engaging the community in creating and sustaining a labyrinth’s presence.” For more information, visit www.labyrinthsociety.org.

To find the Bellows Falls labyrinth, walk or drive down Mill Street to the left of the Flat Iron Coffee Exchange. Cross the tracks and pass the Frank Adams Grist Mill Museum. A parking lot is on the left with an available portable toilet. There is another small dirt lot before the gate and entrance to the trail on the left. The labyrinth is at the top of the small hill. Enjoy the view of the Connecticut River, the Poet’s Seat, and the Labyrinth walk.

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