I enjoy walking labyrinths. Labyrinths are maze-like structures that have been used as spiritual tools for centuries. There are many of them around, and I am in the habit of trying to visit a lot of them. For more information about labyrinths, check out The Labyrinth Society.
Last week, I was on vacation in Delaware. While there, I found a few labyrinths to walk. Today’s labyrinths are both at churches in seaside towns. These two labyrinths were built very differently, and have very distinctive feels.
First, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Rehoboth Beach. This labyrinth is a 5-circuit classical design. It begins outside the church building with a short winding path of stylized hexagonal pavers.
These same pavers form the path of the labyrinth itself, whose walls are made of embedded bricks. One interesting thing about this one is that the center of it is made of a cross, made of square pavers.
This is a very wordy labyrinth as well. Many of the bricks and square pavers have words on them, either spiritual words of encouragement, or in honor or memory of people or groups. I’m not sure, but it could be that these bricks are/were a fundraiser to help pay for the labyrinth itself. All in all, this labyrinth is very thoughtfully designed and professionally built, with meaning infused in every step.
Next, I traveled just a few more miles to Lewes. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is an historic landmark in this historic town, and nestled adjacent to the centuries-old cemetery is a simple 7-circuit classical labyrinth.
It’s the kind of labyrinth I’ve seen many times — walls made of stones on a grassy path, complete with the stereotypical pile of junk that people want to leave in the middle. It’s the location and the atmosphere that makes this one unique. It feels as though you’re walking a path that people have walked for hundreds of years.
The question I had in both of these labyrinths is rather personal, and I’m not going to get into that here. But I’m glad I took the time away from the beach to walk these wonderful journeys. Many thanks to both churches for constructing these labyrinths, and opening them to the public.