Garden Labyrinth

"I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to." - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 

What is a labyrinth?

 Garden Labyrinth

The original grass labyrinth at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens circa 1999

A labyrinth is a winding path that leads to a central point, having no walls, no dead ends, no choice points and requires no decisions to be made. Simply follow the path to the center and then follow it back out.

Walking the path is often used as a means of quiet contemplation. The same path that leads to the center is also followed to exit the labyrinth.  Many people consider the labyrinth a meditative experience, so please do not speak to people who are walking the labyrinth. You may pass people or let others step around you.

 


 Garden LabyrinthThe first Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Labyrinth was created thanks to a local citizen effort in the mid 1990s. It was a small labyrinth formed in the turf grass. Because of its immense popularity a similar citizen’s effort began to build a larger and more permanent labyrinth.


After two years of fundraising headed up by board member Vanda Edington and a summer of construction the new labyrinth (pictured left) was dedicated. This project would not have been possible if it were not for substantial support provided by the Hathaway family in memory of the late Wyoming First Lady, Mrs. Bobbi Hathaway, wife of Governor Stan Hathaway.


Labyrinth20dedication2 250x104 Garden Labyrinth

We are still in need of more funds to help maintain and support this project. There are still opportunities where you can have a brick inscribed or a larger “inspirational quote stone.”
There is more than one labyrinth at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.

First, there is the main labyrinth that you walk upon.

There are also four other “finger labyrinths.” inscribed into the stone on four different benches. These are designed to allow those who are blind, people unable to walk and people interested in a new challenge to have a different but very similar labyrinth experience.  Garden LabyrinthEach bench has two small labyrinths engraved. When you sit upon the bench a labyrinth is on either side just under your hands.

 Garden Labyrinth

Ribbon cutting to the Cheyenne Botanic Garden Labyrinth. Pictured are Mayor Spiker and Ms. Vanda Edington.

The two finger labyrinths in each bench are identical – but are mirror images of each other. The bench labyrinths are placed so that when you’re are sitting, you can have your fingers find your way to the center of the labyrinth and then out again. The reason that they are mirror images is to require more focus on the task and get more from the experience. Each of the four benches are placed towards the four compass directions of the earth (north west, south and east). Each bench has a different set of labyrinths. One bench has the exact same design labyrinth as the main large garden labyrinth. The other three bench finger/​labyrinths were designed by noted local architect, Glen Garrett. One of the three finger/​bench labyrinths has a joke in it … a circle where if you accidentally get off the main path, your fingers just go around and around. This is a metaphor relating to getting off your life’s path, which sometimes causes some to just go around and around.

The main walking path Cheyenne Garden Labyrinth is an original design by Architect Rachel Preston who is a specialist in spiritual architectural.