the day before i was due to mow the grass labyrinth for grace, the grass contractors who had been asked not to turn up went and mowed the grass! after a mild panic we realised that the grass was probably left long enough to create a labyrinth still. so we went ahead. it turned out fantastically well. taking inspiration from brother anthony here's a how to create your own grass labyrinth. it's incredibly low budget if you borrow a mower! honestly anyone could do it - we have a patio for a garden which tells you how much i know about mowing but managed to do a good job with jen.
1. decide on a labyrinth design. we picked one that looked relatively simple and was based on a pattern of circles. (next week i am going to be creating a more complicated one on the chartres pattern).
2. get your kit together - borrow a mower - we had one with blades of 40cm width which worked well. then you need a tape measure, some small sticks or tent pegs for marking it out. some pieces of string, some longer sticks, a cricket stump or equivalent, and a longish piece of washing line.
3. on a diagram of the labyrinth work out your mesurements. what you do is bang the cricket stump in the centre point. tie the washing line round it and then tie pieces of string on the washing line to mark the distance from the centre of each circle. the centre can be as big as you like. but each circle after that needs to be the width of the mower blades plus enough width for the lines inbetween the path. we went for about 8 inches on top of the width of the blades which seemed about right. once you have done this with the washing line taught move it round in a circle and put tent pegs/small sticks to mark all your circles out
4. with your diagram in front of you work out where the turns are and place your longer sticks there so that when you are mowing you don't cross a line you shouldn't and so that you know where to turn.
5. follow the path from the entrance and always mow against the outer edge of the circles. go slowly and carefully especially at a turn. if in doubt stop and look at the diagram to check it is correct.
6. having mowed the whole path go over it once more.
7. that's it - a beautiful labyrinth - it took me and jen 2 hours to create it from start to finish. it cost nothing.
we ran it at grace with a focus on pentecost. in the centre we had some oil so that you could pray for the next person to arrive to be filled with the spirit of god by anointing them with oil. we gave some simple guidelines for walking. i think walking intenitonally and prayerfully takes a bit of getting used to. the first time you walk a labyrinth can be a bit weird. and it's good to make the most of the centre as a space for prayer/being still or whatever.