A small group of Rose Hill residents is seeking a little muscle and energy from neighbors and others in Kirkland on Monday to help finish a stone labyrinth being created at one of Kirkland's newest parks, .
About 35 feet wide, the structure is being built with a small city grant to the South Rose Hill/Bridle Trails Neighborhood Association, in cooperation with the . It is being created by Bellingham labyrinth artist Myra Smith, owner of The Laughing Flower Labyrinth & Landscape Co., with help from volunteers.
Labyrinths are ancient in origin, used by many cultures worldwide for centuries, including Native Americans and early Christians, for reasons that are not entirely clear but often related to religious and cultural beliefs. They have seen a resurgence in recent years, and today are intended as places and devices for peaceful, contemplative strolling.
"In a park setting, it provides a place where people can come and relax, reduce the stress of work," says Smith. "There is a woman who came by the other day, a victim of domestic violence, and she said, "If I didn't have this park I don't know what I would do.' "
The labyrinth will provide another means for people such as that woman to find a moment of respite, says Smith.
Smith helped in downtown Kirkland recently paint a labyrinth on one of its parking areas, dedicated on Sept. 11. The on Rose Hill has a canvas labyrinth it uses once a month for prayer and fellowship sessions.
But people use them for purely recreational and aesthetic purposes as well. Some build them in their yards
"Kids enjoy being in a labyrinth and playing on them," Smith notes. "Some think the game hop-scotch might have started in labyrinths."
The Rose Hill Meadows labyrinth is being made with a pretty burnt-orange and gray stone known as Montana stampede ledgestone.
"Isn't it cool?" asks Sharon Sherrard, a United Methodist member who spent some time Friday helping with the project. "I had no idea how cool it would be."
Kirkland Parks Operations Manager Jason Filan agrees.
"It's the frst labyrinth in a Kirland park," he says. "This came about through the city's Neigborhood Connections Program. It's kind of a cool little project."
Volunteers will be finishing the labyrinth on Monday, Oct. 3, starting at about 10 a.m. Anyone interested in helping can just show up; bring gloves and apparel appropriate for the weather.