New Labyrinth at Walter Reed8
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, MD
This exact Chartres Labyrinth Replica is 42’ 3 and 3/8” in diameter. It was created using red concrete pavers for the path. The lines are clay pavers with iron dust baked onto the surface. As you can see it is very striking indeed.
This labyrinth is being used as a tool for our returning warriors as “Safe Ground” in their therapy treatments. Many of them are learning to walk again and the labyrinth gives them not only a goal to reach at the center, but inner healing along the way.
These beautiful iridescent colored clay pavers are hand cut and seem to change color as the hues of sunlight change throughout the day.
While I was building this labyrinth I missed several family events including the birth of our first grand-daughter . The construction was also difficult ,there were nearly 1000 crafts men and woman on site. There was nowhere to put the trailer and nowhere to park the truck. The labyrinth is located in Angel Garden a perfect place. The garden is in an inclosed courtyard so every brick and wheelbarrow of gravel needed to come in thru a very busy hallway. It was hard, keeping the floor clean and dry. I was constantly wrestling with material and tools while entering codes to open and close secure doors,and the long walk to get every tool and wheelbarrow load was adding days to the project. Just crossing the hallway was a tricky thing to do, man this job is stressful and hard Then you take a closer look at who these people in the hallway are. It was full of our incredibly brave young men and woman and their family’s. Some were in wheelchairs while others were learning to use their new prosthetic limbs and that’s only the wounds that are visible. yet most of them had determined smiles on their faces.
They were surrounded by doctors, nurses, chaplains, red cross volunteers, even dogs that can heal you from the inside out. Every one of them our heroes. That is when I realized any difficulty or stress I was having really is not that bad. As I worked on this project for the next several weeks I came to understand that building this labyrinth in this place for these amazing people may be the most important creation I will ever make. Just being in the same hallway with these very special heroes is an honor.
We are very proud of the fact, that this labyrinth will be used by veterans, wounded warriors, and their families. We are sure the hospital staff will walk it to find calm and peace, through out their day. It is also great to imagine that as our presidents and the leaders of our great country come to receive their medical care, they may walk this labyrinth and find direction, comfort, peace and healing.