Lost? Find Yourself in a Labyrinth at the United Methodist Church

Labyrinth under construction with Zakyia Watkins (R), artist

If you are a frequent traveler to, or better yet a resident of, the coveted northside, you will be familiar with The Black Hole. The Black Hole covers from about Viles Street through Dairy Joy, past the United Methodist Church and up to the Weston/Lincoln line on 117. None shall pass. Oh wait, that is the Black Knight. The Black Hole is the area where your cell phone does not work, waze does not work, and apparently, your credit card does not work, at least if you try to use it at Dairy Joy (well, the ATM works, that must be wired).

Since you’ve lost your service and your interest in anything online, why not head over to the United Methodist Church parking lot and check out the labyrinth? I just love the word “labyrinth”–it makes me start drawing up a list of folks I want to send into the cavern to get lost and be eaten by a minotaur. Alas, it’s not that kind of labyrinth. Would you really expect such a place to exist in a church parking lot? Well, there were those lions eating people in the Coliseum, no? Still not a church.

Minotaur as drawn by Owlet, age 8

Rest assured, there are no minotaurs or even hungry wildlife of any kind (there is a very large golden retriever that always wants to greet the Owl’s run club in the mornings but probably it eats only pasta) at the UMC parking lot. In fact, the upper parking lot is about to get a wonderful spot for mindfulness and meditation so let me get serious for a moment. I do always fear being struck by lightning if I make too much light of churchy stuff.

Alicia Velez Stewart, the pastor of Weston’s United Methodist Church, tells me that not only will no one be eaten but you can’t even get lost in the new labyrinth unless of course you are city folk and then I can’t help you. Call an uber. Do not ever attempt a corn maze– you will indeed be eaten by coyotes. I just heard from some Lincolnites that there are around 30 coyotes in the Ricci Field near Hanscom Air Base. Who sticks around to count these things? Crazy Lincolnites. The coyotes apparently sing every night at 8 pm along with taps being played at the base. I would make some more editorial comments here but I am going to skip it for now. Back to labyrinths.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

“This labyrinth is the next space we are creating with the public in mind,” said Reverend Alicia. “The wonderful thing about labyrinths is that they aren’t mazes or like the labyrinth of Greek mythology. Mazes are built with the intention of tricking or trapping you with false starts and stops. Not so a labyrinth.”

Alicia continued: “A labyrinth has a single path in and out, which means you can follow along and not worry about being trapped. It’s designed to flow gently and even is kind of like a metaphor for life – the closer you are to the point (the center) sometimes the further away you are, and vice versa. The one path lets you relax and let your mind wander since you always know you’ll get to the place you’re going.”

Located in the upper parking lot, the labyrinth is a creative repurposing of space on the church’s property. The church is working with local artist Zakyia Watkins of Hyde Park, MA to create a master-“peace” – an accessible, outdoor, sacred space for the congregation and the communities it serves.

Zakyia Watkins working on the labyrinth. No minotaur in sight.

“The labyrinth can be used as a full body method of praying, a meditation device, or a mindfulness tool. I also am planning on leading guided labyrinth walks and can be available for folks who would like to do one outside of the scheduled dates,” said Reverend Alicia.  

The labyrinth is still under construction but the church welcomes anyone who wishes to come by and check out the progress. The official opening will be on September 11 and the Owl will update that information soon. The Weston United Methodist Church is located at 377 North Avenue and you can reach Reverend Alicia Velez Stewart at avstewart@gmail.com.


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