The labyrinth is at 43 Edgeware Rd, down a long driveway (not that easily spotted from the road). It's the site of the old Edgeware Community Pool.
The labyrinth is a seven-circuit classical labyrinth. Parts of the pathway have alternating grey and white gravel while other parts have yet to be completed and are still earth.
Helen Ross writes about the building of this labyrinth:
The Edgeware Labyrinth; the what, where, when, who, how and why.
What is a labyrinth?
I like to think of labyrinths as a tool for walking meditation, a way of calming the mind so that creative thoughts are free to enter. It represents a journey to our own centre and back again out into the world.
Labyrinths have been found throughout the world and date back thousands of years. The pattern we used is that of the Cretan Labyrinth derived from the Greek myth of the Minotaur, a monster that was half-man and half –bull. According to Jim Buchanan, author of Labyrinths for the Spirit “ it could be that the idea of facing a ferocious monster in the centre of a labyrinth symbolizes the way we must face our own daily fears, or the collective fears of our culture.”
What is the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?
A labyrinth has one path leading you to the centre and then out again. Mazes have multiple paths and dead ends designed to “trap and trick”.
The labyrinth has been created on council land on the car park of the old Edgeware Pool in Edgeware Rd. Access is currently easiest from Trafalgar St.
In early Spring a group of us from the Edgeware Village Green Inc (amongst them Ro Soryl, Jan McKenzie, Matt Morris, Jane Cooper and I developed a heart –shaped garden bed at the Trafalgar St end of the site, utilising the sandbags put in place after one of the well- heads flooded on 22nd February. Planting a garden for me represents Hope in a way nothing else does. My desire to create a labyrinth grew from there, having benefited from walking a number here and overseas. Providence came on board in December with an offer (via Peggy Kelly from Packe St Park) from Dr Lane Perry at the University of Canterbury to supply some American College Students and equipment for the project.
Who and how?
On Saturday the 7th of January work began by clearing the overgrown site. The pattern was marked out by two Christchurch women, Koa Minifie and Lily White, while others set about cleaning the locally-sourced bricks. A number of EVG working bees later and with the help of a number of students from Lane’s Christchurch 101 paper, the task of laying the bricks was complete. A low-key launch of the labyrinth was held on Saturday 11th February in conjunction with a visit from the National Council of the Soil and Health Association.
One of the best lessons for me in previous recovery experiences was realising that you can’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can. Progress on formalising Edgeware Village Green Inc, a necessary step to be able to receive Council funding, largely came to a halt after the February quake. There was very little energy for committee meetings or dealing with bureaucratic structures. We mourned the loss of those vital meeting places in our neighbourhood like the supermarket, the local churches and of course, the Resource Centre.
To my mind the labyrinth is our gift to the local community of a special place where people can take time-out from our daily troubles; reconnect with the still, strong place within all of us - or with God/Spirit for those of a spiritual mind, and return again to face our various challenges stronger for the experience.
I hope that with hindsight our experiences with EQC, Insurance Companies, the Council and Builders will turn out to be a labyrinth rather than the maze the process would seem to be at this point.
23 February 2012
43 Edgeware Rd
Availability: Always open
Contact: Helen Ross
Phone: +64 3 366-2426
Getting there ...
More on this labyrinth ...
More on the Student Volunteer Army ...
Photos of the Student Volunteer Army by Daniel Deans
The Student Volunteer Army cleaning the site of weeds and helping with the labyrinth.
The Edgeware Village Green holds a weekly working bee on Tuesday at 4 for a couple of hours. We welcome new gardeners.
Contact Helen on 3662426
or Ro on 9818832
or just turn up.
This labyrinth in so many ways mimics and mirrors the experience of the people of Christchurch. Two years later, rather than a sense of relief and renewal, there is despair and exhaustion. I have tears in my eyes as I add this - but the story needs to be shared. And I hope and trust that this is not the end of the story of this once-loved community labyrinth.
Helen Ross wrote to us in 2014:
The State of the Edgeware Labyrinth
This sad sight is what has become of the labyrinth The Edgeware Village Green developed on the old pool site after the quakes. For several months Council Contractors have been working on drilling a new well - despite initial assurances that it wouldn't be touched much of it has now been destroyed. Unfortunately I doubt that there will be energy left to reinstate it when and if we regain access to the site.
13 February 2014
But two years later ...
If this touches you as much as it does us, and if you are in a position to help, please call or contact Helen
ph 03 3662426