October 16, 2021
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Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth

  • Mrs. Gage's University Elementary TK class is finishing up and taking a break at the center of the labyrinth they had walked. Clive Johnson from the UK has been escorting the labyrinth all over the United States and by now it been walked by thousands of people. Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
October 12, 2018

Upon entering the multi-purpose room at University Elementary School located at 8511 Liman Way, Clive Johnson from the U.K. is spreading out a very large canvas with a geometric pattern stamped onto the tarpaulin. This is called a labyrinth and looks very similar to a maze or puzzle.  A labyrinth brings to mind a puzzle that needs to be deciphered with dead ends and no exits. 

The younger students at the school looked quite puzzled when they approached the canvas and were quite hesitant to step on it; trying to walk around the edges.

Yes, when saying the word labyrinth, it gets confused with the word maze and in Sonoma County it usually is a corn maze around pumpkin and Halloween season.

With a labyrinth the only conclusion that comes to mind is when to enter and once you have entered the path that takes you to the center and back out again. 

The labyrinth design is very simplistic. In simple terms the labyrinth is really a walking medative path because it requires no special thought as you can simply walk and allow your mind to be quiet and let the body take over. To walk the labyrinth there is no right or wrong way but you may encounter another rambler that is either walking ahead of you at another pace which we then may find it difficult to follow. Our choice is then to go around them or stay behind. But regardless we should always greet them with a smile or even a hug or we can just continue on the path at our own speed. 

The labyrinth has appeared throughout history and for many cultures has become popular for bringing communities together such as churches, schools public squares and parks.

The circular tour of the labyrinth embraces the whole of the US and aims to spread positive energy around the country.

Clive Johnson launched the project on the strength of a feeling that is right and timely to do so. Johnson hopes that other labyrinth devotees will become involved in the project and makes a journey.

Now just imagine the labyrinth in the community of Rohnert Park? Would the residents walk it and how often? If a canvas labyrinth was available, would the city be interested in laying a canvas down in the city center for the residents to check it out?