Labyrinth Speaks

This poem was written for the dedication service of the Labyrinths at the Palms with gratitude to all those who had a hand in this creation, especially our joyous and fearless leader, Max Klinkenborg, and to all those who walk these sacred paths.

Labyrinth Speaks: A Story of My Becoming by Shea Darian

I am Labyrinth. Born eons ago.
Exactly where and when I cannot say.
This is part of my Mystery.

I am Labyrinth. Spanning continents of time. 
I am art painted on Bronze-age pottery.
Carved into Neolithic walls. 
Stamped on coins in ancient Crete.
Woven into life-or-death myths of God and Goddess 
Bearing stories of transformation and redemption 
Not unlike your own.

In Egypt, I was built into a temple of burial grounds
So intricate I was said to rival any wonder of the ancient world.
I served as Tomb-and-Womb of Spiritual Rebirth
In Italy, Russia, Britain, Ireland, Scotland: 
An Entryway to a Life-Beyond-Life.   

During the Roman Empire
I was laid out as protection in mosaic floors,
Built as playgrounds for children,
Used as a test of skill for riders on horseback. 

To the Hopi people I am the bond between Mother Earth and her Children.
I am the Maze of Life you walk bravely to overcome, change, become One-With-All.

In 4th century Algeria I came to you, Earth Travelers,
In my first-known Christian form: Words written 
At my center: Sancta Ecclesia, “Holy Church.”

In Europe during Medieval times,
I graced the floors of great cathedrals – Chartres among them.
In Britain and Germany I was used as a dancing ground. 
I was cut into the turf of town commons. 
I resided as Sacred Ground on Scandinavian islands, like a 
Prayer of Protection for the fisherfolk who built me there. 

My aching remains can be found 
In India, Spain, Turkey, Greece
In the Solovetsky Islands of the Russian White Sea
and in the ruins of Arizona. 

Yes in ruins. Dying for centuries, when she came to me in Chartres:
The Priest and Healer who is my grandmother, as I am hers.
Lauren Artress saw me, knew me 
Moved the chairs that covered my massive form
Walked into my heart and out again
Told the church officials that something must be done
Invited others to recreate me hundreds of times 
In 80 different countries of the world 

Earth Travelers! I am thriving again in your Collective Imagination!
More prolific in the past thirty years than in the rest of my 4,000-year existence. 
My Sacred Paths reborn for you five thousand times and more.

I am Labyrinth. Born eons ago.
Exactly where and when I cannot say.
This is part of my Mystery.

I am There and Then.
I am Here and Now. Times Two.
You name me Labyrinths at the Palms.
Set here in this earth prepared for me.
Set rock-by-rock by your own hands.
Set rock-by-rock as a Labor of Joy.
I am your Sacred Earth and Cosmic Playground.

I am not a maze. 
I will not threaten to lose you. 
Inside my welcome, you are safe. 
There are no wrong turns. 
I will hold you without worry, 
without doubt, without question.

Make of me what you will:
A work of art
A symbol of redemption
A wonder of the world
A sacred pilgrimage
A tear catcher
A gathering place
A prayer walk
A mindful meditation
A dancing path
An expression of faith
A tomb and a womb
And a gateway to the Divine

Come as you are. Come as you will.
Believer. Doubter. Seeker.
I am Labyrinth. 
Now tell me. What will I be to You?

© 2019 by Shea Darian, All Rights Reserved.

Labyrinths at the Palms, Sun City, AZ
Labyrinth Walk at The Church of the Palms in Sun City, AZ

Published by Shea

Shea Darian, M.Div. is a family and grief educator, spiritual care provider, and award-winning author. Shea is the creator of the Model of Adaptive Grieving Dynamics, published in the journal Illness, Crisis & Loss, Vol. 22(3), 2014. Books on family spirituality include Sanctuaries of Childhood: Nurturing a Child's Spiritual Life and Living Passages for the Whole Family: Celebrating Rites of Passage from Birth to Adulthood. Shea's new book, Doing Grief in Real Life: A Soulful Guide to Navigate Loss, Death & Change will be released in 2021 (e-book) and 2022 (paperback). Visit www.sheadarian.com.

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