Carol Woods Labyrinth
November 3, 2015 -
After more than a year in planning and construction, the Carol Woods labyrinth is ready for walking. It is located on the north side of Building 6 in a quiet setting below the cottages on the Upper Loop.
Labyrinths or depictions of labyrinths go back at least 4000 years. There are only ambiguous suggestions as to what their purposes may actually have been. The same simple concept of a single circular path with many turns leading to the center and then returning to the outer edge seems to have had its origin in many parts of the world, including Greece, Egypt, India, and North America.
Individuals slowly winding their way through the labyrinth have different experiences. Some use it as an approach toward the spiritual or to achieve a mystical state while others focus on health and well-being by centering their mind to release tension and care. The symmetry and grace are often a source of joy and beauty.
The Carol Woods labyrinth did not appear overnight. Residents Sandy Venegoni and Amie Modigh were inspired by walking labyrinths in Sweden and St. Louis while visiting family. They could see one as a special place for our residents to go for peaceful meditation. CEO Pat Sprigg and two other key staff members, Tony Bayless and Robin Holmes, could also envision the labyrinth as an ideal fit for Carol Woods. They began working monthly with a planning group of about a dozen residents to see how this dream could be realized. As the concept moved through the community, it was discussed and approved by three Carol Woods Advisory Committees: Building and Facilities, Gardens and Landscaping, and Health and Well-Being. In addition, the Fitness Committee gave it their stamp of approval. The Residents Council approved it on June 3, 2014.
The Campus Enhancement Fund of the Carol Woods Charitable Fund covered the cost of the labyrinth. This fund has also enabled the creation of the Rose Garden, Millstone Garden, the Dog Park, and the Croquet and Bocce courts.
The Labyrinth Company of Connecticut provided the pavers to create the desired eight circuit labyrinth and accommodated our space constraints. Earlier this year, the company had 39 pallets of variously shaped light gray and dark gray pavers delivered to the driveway outside of Building 6. Doug Malinowski of Wellsmont Landscaping coordinated the actual construction of the labyrinth. Preparation began with the excavation of the bank and proceeded through smoothing a large circular area which was covered by a plastic water barrier, and laying a level foundation of gravel and sand. Finally, Doug began the work of placing the pavers with care to keep the lines correct and the blocks close to each other. Gray sand was added to fill in the gaps between the pavers. The job was completed and a Grand Opening was scheduled for June.
Note: Labyrinths are often confused with mazes which are designed with many dead end turns in the pathways. Mazes are used to confuse and hinder one’s sense of well-being. The Carol Woods Labyrinth is designed to soothe and center the residents and staff who live and work here.