My introduction to the Labyrinth was when I attended a Vancouver Island Unitarian Women’s weekend gathering at the Bethlehem Retreat Centre near Nanaimo. The Sisters of St. Anne who ran the centre had created the labyrinth a few years earlier.
The first Unitarian group I connected with was in the community where I was raised. My daughter was about five years old and we went for a visit with her grandma. Once her grandma’s youngest sister visited and said grace before the meal. Afterward my daughter asked, “Why is she talking to her plate?”.
Around that time a friend of mine told me the Nanaimo Fellowship wanted to start up a children’s program. Since I worked with young children and liked the content of their program, along with several other parents, joined the fellowship and ran the children’s program.
My daughter moved to Vancouver to study at UBC and has lived here ever since, currently in southeast Vancouver. I would come over from Vancouver Island for a short visit several times a year. Three or four years ago my youngest grandson found that wasn’t long enough. He and his brother told me that I should come and live with them ‘forever’ ….his word. So what could I say?
When I moved here it was after a lifetime of living on the Island and I needed something that was familiar in my life. UCV was reasonably convenient so I started attending in the fall of 2016.
My interest in gardening began when I first had a place to plant things in the ground although the mint that I am bringing to the swap was one of the first herbs that I acquired. It came from my friend’s mother’s garden in Victoria five decades ago, along with instructions to always keep it in a pot and never plant it in the ground! That mint along with other herbs has followed me through various moves. My interest in herbs has mostly been culinary in salads or teas.
It has been fortuitous that this spring several of my interests–herbs, labyrinths, gardening–have come together. With others at UCV, we have formed a team that’s planning several events at the garden labyrinth. While our ideas were percolating someone suggested we apply for a grant from South Vancouver neighbourhood house. (Funds are provided by the Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grant program). We submitted an application and were successful! It is with gratitude that we are able to bring the series of Garden Labyrinth events to our community and neighbours.