On a March morning in 1997, I was immersed in labyrinth research. Along
with my friend and mentor, Richard Feather Anderson, we were each searching
for a labyrinth to replace the existing courtyard labyrinth at the Angela
Center in Santa Rosa, California. I suddenly realized that these labyrinths
of the past two thousand years were first laid out on paper by using a
compass. I was curious and aware of an urge to see if I could make a labyrinth
in this way. Bringing out my compass and black papered notepad, I began
to play with eight concentric circles.
I was amazed to find its shape emerging from the paper. I experienced
getting out of the way, allowing the design to come through my hands,
pencil and paper. Quickly, all was complete; except for a small portion
of rings in the lower left/central area. Instead of forcing the design,
I let it be for the rest of the day. Later, as I sat in my living room
in front of the evening fire with family and friends, I again felt the
urge to finish the labyrinth. Picking up the paper and pencils, I went
back to that particular area where I had originally been stuck. Everyone
and everything in the room faded far into the background. With a few erasures
and repositioning of turns, the labyrinth was complete.
The making of the Santa Rosa Labyrinth continues to blossom into many
other experiences. Its name came to me the day Marilyn Larson and I first
met in May of 1997. A mutual friend said we two women should meet and
share our interest in labyrinths. Without knowing each other, we traveled
to the Salmon Creek beach in Northern California. There we dowsed this
new labyrinth design in the sand, using our entire bodies in the process.
We drew with our minds, hearts, and with our toes. This particular labyrinth
in the sand became as offering to the ocean, consumed in the middle of
the night. And the Santa Rosa Labyrinth at Salmon Creek became an initiation
for our friendship and collaboration on labyrinths to come.
The original design did not have a small open space, found in the fourth
path. Some time in June of 1997, I wondered what would happen if I lined
up the entrance path with the path into the goal. Laying the design out
on my front lawn, I noticed the space emerge on the fourth path, the heart
path. I was curious about its significance, if any. Almost a year later,
I joined together with Marilyn Larson, Alyssa Hall, Kimberly Lowelle,
and Sue Anne Foster on Mother's Day weekend in May of 1998, to create
the first Santa Rosa Labyrinth on canvas.
Robert Ferré was one who found himself pulled to bring the sacred geometry of the Chartres Labyrinth to the Santa Rosa Labyrinth design, furthering the Creative Force from the formless into form. He also has midwifed this labyrinth into life with his canvas creations. I am filled with gratitude as this labyrinth continues to grace my life with creativity, connections, and with beauty. It is my hope that this Creative Life Force will be an inspiration for others as they search for their own centers in the twists and turns of the Santa Rosa Labyrinth.
See Lea's website at www.srlabyrinthfoundation.com.
Post Script, summer, 2009:
The Santa Rosa labyrinth has been very well received. We at Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC, have now made more than 125 Santa Rosa canvas labyrinths at our studio in Saint Louis, as well as a number of permanent ones in concrete or other materials. Photos are available in our gallery section and on the above Santa Rosa site. Below: Polymer concrete santa Rosa labyrinth in Spring Lake, New Jersey.