About the Labyrinth
consistent vision of Marty Milam of Silver Spring, MD, brought
together willing hands July 16-25, 2000, to construct a labyrinth
in the afternoon shade of the huge spruce tree across the
creek from the main house of Borderlands Education and Spiritual
Center. Hours of design and planning resulted in paths of
grass lined by approximately 10,000 pounds of planted
stone of natural slate from the surrounding prairie. Based
on the model inlaid at Chartres Cathedral in France, the paths
begin at an eastern entrance and wind through what once was
raised garden beds, edged by the rhubarb patch on one side
and the creek grasses on the other. As the summer went on,
some rhubarb peeked up in a bare patch, chives were found
in another, wild flowers were reestablishing themselves and
a thistle or two (in true Celtic fashion) were making the
path a bit challenging especially for those who wanted
to walk bare-footed.
began the work and Lori Pearson from Santa Fe caught the vision
(we had walked the labyrinth at Ghost Ranch together) and
wanted to participate, encouraging her husband Chris to fix
fence, tear apart old raised beds, mow and haul rock as well.
Teens Amelia Snider and Kim Rodgers from Chevy Chase, MD,
were enlisted to help and soon began to feel the draw of the
labyrinth as well. Kari Kramer and her new husband, Alex,
joined the work crew upon their arrival to Borderlands. The
Rev. Anne Barton, then assistant rector of Emmanuel Episcopal
Church in Rapid City, SD, joined us for an afternoon, as did
the Rev. Bunker Hill, Jane Hill, Phyllis Wipf, Lois McBride
and Emily Ahrendt of All Angels Episcopal Church in
Spearfish, SD. Challenged by an ornery pick up(FORD
Fix Or Repair Daily) that stopped and started on its own schedule,
and rainstorms I the afternoon one lightning strike
had the workers fleeing very quickly as they felt it through
their feet (the horses did too!) the labyrinth was
completed in seven days, just in time for Marty to be the
first person to walk it before she had to head back to Silver
A Labyrinth Journal was begun for each walker to sign and
make comments if they so choose. Martys comments reflect
some of how this process was determined. The circle
is complete! The Journey begins! I walked with joy and thanksgiving.
Thanks for all the helping hands and dedication. Thanks to
the earth for the stones and rocks. Thanks to the labyrinth
for choosing the place and time. Most of all, thanks to God,
through whom all things are possible!
Amelia Snider had more to say about the process of construction
and how it touched her. Building a structure which will
blend in with the earth yet is symbolic to humans and is also
so spiritual is very meaningful to me. Touching the earth
with my hands made me feel connected to the earth and this
land and this place. I will always remember it with love.
exhilaration of completing the project was reflected in Kim
Rodgers words. Its ready to walk! I walked
in and out. It is a wonderful feeling to experience all the
energy that has gone into the labyrinth. Thanks to everyone,
especially Marty, for helping me find the strength and determination
to help in putting together something so wonderful.
The first pilgrimage group to walk the labyrinth together
was based in New Orleans and included participants from Kansas
City and Raleigh/Durham, NC. Jo Harriet Haley, director of
Sacred Places Travel, remarked, our early morning labyrinth
walk was profound. When we entered the sacred space, the animals
quieted and Spooky, who was so interested in petting, respectfully
walked away and left us to connect with the divine. We walked,
cried, smiled, sat, prayed, - and all changed and grew in
our various faiths.
Cindy Nichols stated, our group found much peace and
healing in walking the labyrinth together. Things moved
inside of all of us which are hard to explain
real. My own personal experience was freeing relaxed
opening me to some new thoughts and places.
Bob Graham of Virginia Beach, VA, and an adult companion to
an August J2A pilgrimage wrote, I walked the labyrinth
in the early morning the sun was up, the sky was clean,
each turn brought a new vista, an absolute beautiful sight
to see, mountains, valleys, horses, trees and grass. A wonderful
place to pray.
As the keeper and protector of this land for this time, I
thank Marty especially for spearheading this project and I
thank all those named above who put forth their love, energy,
sweat and muscle to make the labyrinth possible. It already
has blessed many and will continue as it draws people here
to experience it. The labyrinth construction mirrored other
ranch projects in that they are determined by the energy,
ideas and vision of those who come and become part of the
community. Perhaps it is the fresh air and clear wilderness
setting that frees the creative processes and allows the imagination
to soar. Perhaps it is the spirit of the place that remembers
the generations and the peoples who have gone before us in
connecting to the Great Spirit in this place. Perhaps it is
in that borderlands of earth touching sky, culture touching
culture, soul touching soul that blesses our footsteps as
we walk upon the sacred earth. I am sure it is all this and
more that cannot be articulated by the smallness of our human
experience in the vastness of the experience of the Holy One.
You, too, are invited to walk the Borderlands labyrinth. Come
and walk this sacred ground.
Click Here to read select comments
from visitors who walked the labryinth.