I watched as the tide crept over my 150th Dream Field earlier this month. Taking a slow deep breath and releasing it, I could feel the energy of the labyrinth and the ocean joining as one.
Later, I was reflecting on my journey along the sandy path. Circles in the Sand was created in 2011 as a special project of Sacred Journeys, my labyrinth ministry. When I first started, people would wonder who was doing the crop circles on the beach. The intention then and now is to create a labyrinth experience on the sand for all to enjoy. Over the next several years, I drew hundreds of traditional labyrinths.
Late summer 2014 is when I first started connecting labyrinths together. I had found that on the sand everyone was much more comfortable walking a path which they could journey through rather than to center and return as in a traditional labyrinth.
This is a photo of the 151st Dream Field. Looking forward to many more on the magical sand of Bandon, Oregon.
Also, in July I was featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting with a article by Jule Gilfillan which originally aired in October 2015. the video was posted on Facebook by OPB and also NPR (National Public Radio) with total views in the first eight days of 1.2 million.
Shortly after I started Drawing full time in January 2015, I met Pamela Hansen who is now by business partner and Circles photographer. In March, I met Christine Moehring who is now the Circles Detail Design Artist. There is not enough space to mention all of the groomers who have assisted (250 in 2017 so far) but I need to recognize a few of our Circles Ambassadors. Special thanks to Trish Conyers, Betsy Rodenbush and June Dawn for all they do as Lead Groomers and Greeters. I am honored that over 20,000 have walk the Sandy Path with us. We are grateful for the sales and donations that has helped to support Circles in the Sand.
Circles is working on the Draw schedule for 2018. Our public Draw schedule has averaged about fifty per year. We also Draw for special occasions which has helped to fund the public work. We have been seeking sustainable support for over a year now and donations and sponsor ships are increasing. In 2018 we are considering perusing many of the request fo travel Draws to generate more income to support our public work. In order to do this, we would need to limit our public Draw schedule in Bandon to about twenty. A ‘road trip’ season is not desirable but it may be what is required for Circles to continue creating walkable art for people to experience a labyrinth on the beach.
One of the most frequently asked questions is “What is a Dream Field Labyrinth?”.
Simple answer: A single path that meanders through several labyrinths before returning close to where it began. Continue reading for a more comprehensive explanation.
It began on the sand at the beginning of summer 2014. For several years I had been drawing labyrinths in the sand as a means of introducing others to its path. Most labyrinths have a single path which leads to center and uses the same path to return. I quickly found that several things occurred when I drew on the sand. Some people would stay clear of me, I guess wondering why I was walking in circles, perhaps a creator of crop circles or an alien. Some would find the path entrance, walk to center and, not knowing to just return the same way, they would think they were trapped in a maze. I found most seem to prefer a labyrinth like the Baltic Wheel which has a single path to center and continues to the exit. The double spiral is also a labyrinth with a single path which spirals to center in one direction and then spirals out the other. For several Draws I practiced connecting several double spirals together. I found I could set a rhythm to the walk by making them different sizes. In my earlier sand work, I did not use a rake very much. Most of the Draws where with my staff and I would accent turns with a small rake.
It was on Sunday, September 28, 2014 when I created my first Dream Field. While drawing and connecting the spirals that day I was able to set the intention for each as it was completed. The walker would enter the path and go into the first spiral and then continue to another, each representing an aspect of their journey in life. The last part of the path continues completely around the outside of the pattern and returns near the entrance. When I was done drawing I realized it looked sort of like a paint by number so I started to rake outside of the paths. While I was ‘grooming’ the path, Cindy Holm walked by and offered to assist. What I saw from ground level was what I had been trying to create for years. A path that invites you to walk and enjoy just being you. After viewing from above, I knew this was a special Draw and started calling the pattern my Dream Field Labyrinth.
Photo at top is the first Dream Field. Do you have a Sandy Path experience? Leave a comment if you would like to share it. See you on the Sand
In so many ways it does not seem that four months have passed since Circles in the Sand started its second Summer Season in Bandon, Oregon. The ever shifting sands continue to create different canvasses for me to work with. I have drawn approximately 14 miles of paths during 25 public Draws which have been walked by over 4,000 pairs of feet.
With each Draw the pattern I refer to as a Dream Field Labyrinth continues to evolve. The theme of each walk is enhanced by the artistic design of Christine Moehring. The mermaid “Meri” has become quite popular. To be able to share the Sandy Path of the labyrinth with so many brings a real joy to my heart. When Circles was being created I dedicated each walk to transformation and healing. I continue this practice still. I hope everyone who walks or even views my work enjoys their personal experience on the sand.
I have to confess that what I really do is teach a walking meditation by allowing each and every walker to experience the Sandy Path in their own way. A labyrinth only has one path, with no dead ends or wrongs turns, so there are no decisions to make as you journey through the path. Listening to the sound of the ocean is a meditation all by itself. Feeling the fresh salty air on your face and the sand beneath your feet allows you to be fully present. The rhythm of the walk creates a wave of calm that flows throughout your body. As a metaphor for life the path through a labyrinth allows us to get in touch with our inner selves and know that all is well.
Circles in the Sand will continue to schedule public Draws throughout the Spring of 2017. the Fall schedule is posted now. I have looked at the tides for the coming summer season and see a lot of great tides in the future. Keep in mind that we are also available for commissioned Draws to celebrate anything in life.
I am looking forward to completing the schedule for our 2017 Summer Season. After two summer seasons of public Draws in Bandon, we are considering taking road trips next summer. We are accepting suggestions for locations and sponsorship; contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org. Time is of the essence as decisions need to be completed by the end of November so schedules can be posted in January.
Don’t forget to order your Circles in the Sand 2017 Calendar!