hen you need to get perspective on things, walk the labyrinth at the Delaware Art Museum.
A path of concentric circles that leads from an outside starting point to the center then back again, the labyrinth helps users become so absorbed in walking, they achieve a transformation.
The labyrinth may look like a maze, but there is only one path, so you can’t get lost. In fact, there may be only things to find.
“I recently had a friend who works in the finance industry tell me how, after a particularly harrowing day, she came to seek quiet in the museum’s garden and labyrinth and left refreshed and renewed,” says museum director Danielle Rice .
Labyrinths have been used as meditative tools for 4,000 years. They are popular among religious groups, allowing worshipers to make a symbolic pilgrimage to the holy land. In Judaism, the Tree of Life, the Kabbalah, takes the form of an elongated labyrinth. In the United States, labyrinths are found in churches, public parks and gardens, college campuses—even airports. There are several designs, the most common being an 11-circuit pattern based on the labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral in France.
“Our labyrinth grew out of the desire and needs of the community” says Rice. “We thought it was a perfect fit with the contemplative, restorative space we want to offer people who visit our galleries and sculpture garden.”
Carol Maurer of Hockessin was one of the founding volunteers.
“The labyrinth is much more than an ethereal space. It’s an interactive sculpture,” she says. “A complete journey to the center and out again is about a half mile. While adults can enjoy the exercise separate from an intellectual experience, kids can get their own kick out of figuring out the path, at their own level of understanding.”