The labyrinth at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, N.Y. is not listed on the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator site. I found out about it because one of my writer friends is a monk who lives there. “Oh,” he said after I mentioned my labyrinth quest in our writing workshop, “Holy Cross has a labyrinth.” So on a hot and humid afternoon, my husband and I hopped into the air-conditioned car and went exploring.
My GPS sent us on a picturesque but indirect route to the wrong part of Route 9W. We backtracked a little on 9W and eventually found Holy Cross’s curving drive that led to a large parking lot. When I slowed down to reconnoiter, I recognized the familiar pattern of stones set in the lawn on the far side of the parking lot.
The Holy Cross labyrinth is an eight-circuit medieval style labyrinth.
There’s a small cairn marking the entrance and another in the center.
The stones that form the circles are larger than those of any other labyrinth we’ve seen. Most of the rocks were the size of a football (American) or larger. There appeared to be weed-blocking cloth under the whole labyrinth, but the grasses and weeds had grown through. They formed a pleasant, cushy walking path.
I picked out an attractive stone of gray and white to mark my passage, and started off on the path, repeating the comforting mantra, “All is God. All is well.” In the center, I placed my stone on the top of the cairn, adding it to several already there.
We saw nobody during our visit. A small, barn-red house beyond the labyrinth appeared to be occupied, maybe by a groundskeeper. Opposite the labyrinth was a stone path leading to the imposing monastery itself.
We paused to appreciate the trees and the quiet, and then we left. I believe no one knew we had come.