My exploration of labyrinths in our area began early this May. I printed out twenty-five of the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator (WWLL) pages listing labyrinths within fifty miles. It was a rainy day, so we chose to drive to nearby Goshen and visit the First Presbyterian Church.
I used to live in Goshen years ago, but I never paid much attention to the massive church right in the center of town. The Labyrinth Locator offers a lot of useful information about each labyrinth listed. This one in Goshen is public, outdoors, and permanent. The WWLL tells where to find the labyrinth (33 Park Place) and when it is open (always), whom to contact, the style (medieval), the materials (brick/paver) and the size (20 feet in diameter).
We parked on the street and easily found the labyrinth in a gated, well-cared-for garden. In front of the labyrinth was a memorial wall and a bench honoring (past?) members of the congregation. At the entrance stood a pole with a plaque suggesting guidelines for walking the labyrinth.
This was my first labyrinth walk, and I must admit, I spent more time speculating on the cost and labor involved in the making of it than in finding my inner peace. It was meticulously made, with stones cut to size so the paths would be even. On a sunny day, we might have stayed longer, but it was drizzly and cold, so we moved on.
Another labyrinth listed was not far away in Middletown, so we headed to the labyrinth at the Abundant Life Farm. The directions were accurate except for the part that said, “The property is clearly marked with signs.” There were no signs for Abundant Life Farm, only several No Trespassing notices, and another about the presence of a guard dog.
I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures of this strange place. It had three ramshackle, empty buildings, and a large farmyard with a herd of friendly goats. One white goose watched us warily. No dog appeared. We communed with the goats for a while. Nobody came around to complain about our possible trespassing, although we were careful to stay close to the road. I peered around but couldn’t see anything that resembled a labyrinth. I renamed the site “The Abandoned Life Farm” and worried a bit about who was taking care of the goats.
We left for home, figuring one out of two labyrinths was pretty good for that day.