A little peace in Gate City
Labyrinth project begins to take shape
By Adam Coughlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Life for the residents of Nashua is about to get a lot more peaceful, as the city breaks ground on the first permanent labyrinth in New Hampshire.
A labyrinth is the exact opposite of a maze, according to Mara Huberlie, a member of the labyrinth committee. While the object of a maze is to confuse those who enter, a labyrinth is meant to soothe and calm (no Minotaurs here). There is only one way in and one way out, and while sauntering through the manicured garden paths and hand-sculpted stones, people can ignore the hustle and bustle of the city and have a meditative experience.
Ground-breaking for the $125,000 privately funded project will be held at Rotary Common Park at 315 Main St. in Nashua. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, which is World Labyrinth Day. As the first permanent labyrinth in New Hampshire, the Nashua Reflection Garden and Labyrinth will become an official member of the World Labyrinth Society, which makes it part of a worldwide network.
But it took almost two years for this vision to get off the ground. It was spear-headed by Yvonne Dunetz.
“Labyrinths can be found all over the world and are used for walking meditation, stress management, problem-solving and creating a state of peace and relaxation,” Dunetz said. St. Joseph Hospital has been a major supporter and Huberlie was very pleased by the response from the business community.
“As it turned out, the Rotary Club was looking to change the area and they have been amazing,” Huberlie said.
There will certainly be a lot of changes. Besides the garden, there will be an interactive art walk, which will contain stone benches, plush landscaping and sculptures and will also be handicap-accessible. The artist commissioned to undertake this work is Marty Kermeen, a nationally renowned artist. He will create and install the labyrinth using 9,000 hand-sculpted pavers. See examples of other labyrinths he has worked on at www.labyrinthbuilder.com.
Huberlie said the final product is more than a relaxing place to walk. It becomes a work of art.
“Watching this old art come to life will be a truly unique experience for everyone in Nashua,” Huberlie said.
While the groundbreaking is set for May 1, construction on the project is not projected to begin until August with a completion date set for October. Huberlie said one of the deals with the city was that no construction would begin until all the fundraising was completed. While fund raising is complete, Huberlie said there are still bricks for sale for the walk of honor, which will showcase the names of patrons. These can be purchased by visiting www.nashualabyrinth.org.
But brick or no brick, everyone is invited to the groundbreaking ceremony and those who attend will get to enjoy music, singing and an interfaith blessing, meant to tie in to spiritual and peaceful elements of the labyrinth.