World Labyrinth Day event in Greenfield to promote unity, peace

Greenfield resident Maggie Sweeney is seen here starting to weed the labyrinth at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew in Greenfield in May 2022. In recognition of World Labyrinth Day, the Friends of the Community Labyrinth will hold a “Walk as One” event at this labyrinth on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Greenfield resident Maggie Sweeney is seen here starting to weed the labyrinth at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew in Greenfield in May 2022. In recognition of World Labyrinth Day, the Friends of the Community Labyrinth will hold a “Walk as One” event at this labyrinth on Saturday at 1 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

Staff Writer

Published: 05-02-2024 2:27 PM

GREENFIELD — In recognition of World Labyrinth Day, the Friends of the Community Labyrinth will hold a “Walk as One” event on Saturday at 1 p.m., in which residents will come together to navigate the labyrinth on the side lawn of the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew at 8 Church St.

The international event, held annually on the first Saturday in May, allows people around the globe to come together through a shared appreciation of labyrinths, the meditative and spiritual maze-like courses, in a symbolic demonstration of unity and peace.

World Labyrinth Day was started in 2009 by The Labyrinth Society, an international group of labyrinth enthusiasts whose main goals are to support those who use and create labyrinths.

According to The Labyrinth Society, labyrinths have been found throughout the world, with the oldest dating back more than 4,000 years. The website labyrinthlocator.com lists more than 6,000 labyrinths worldwide.

Elise Schlaikjer, a co-founder of the Friends of the Community Labyrinth who helped build the labyrinth at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew in 2019, said she believes the popularity of labyrinths will ultimately contribute to a “rolling wave of peace” to help remedy social division.

“Do you ever get the feeling that something is just right? That’s how I felt the first time I walked a labyrinth. … It felt like coming home for me,” Schlaikjer recounted. “What I love is that you can get lost. To me, a labyrinth is a symbol not to be afraid.”

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at acammalleri@recorder.com or 413-930-4429.

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