Bunbury Garden Labyrinth – a Place for Hope, Harmony & Community: Our Story
Bunbury Garden Labyrinth – a Place for Hope, Harmony & Community – was created over a five-year period, inspired initially by conversations on how we grow ourselves, each other & our communities through the difficult places we find ourselves in. What we absolutely know (tenderly & with the benefit of hindsight often) is that these times do in fact come to us all.
Ours is the story of how a small group of committed friends, health professionals & community leaders faced this truth, to inspire & lead a community development project with the City of Bunbury, local community groups, corporate sponsors, suppliers, trades people, media & interested individuals.
Often we don’t know where a journey will take us – we only know that we must begin. Our passion was quite simply driven by what else there was we could do – in a climate of increasing dis-ease & complex societal issues. Combined with evidence-based research on health outcomes, greenspaces & mindfulness practices, we responded initially by establishing a Not For Profit – Projects of Heart & Soul WA, Inc. Committees collectively drove the various aspects of the project, from design/ fundraising to implementation & community engagement. The Garden Labyrinth gave us the ‘container’ to come together in our humanness. Deep down, we all want to honour loss & find a way through these life difficulties that come.
As you may be aware, in every culture, on every continent, over 1000’s of years (particularly in difficult times), labyrinths have been created to bring together the community. A labyrinth invites us to quiet contemplation. It is a cross-cultural, non-denominational sacred space. It is a path we can walk alone while being alongside others. As we walk the inevitable twists and turns, we are ultimately brought to the centre, to our own centre. Our breath slows, & the relaxation response means we are able to be present with ourselves & our surroundings. Moving quietly, step by step, as we make our way back out, along the very same path we came in on, allows space to pause, remember & authentically respond to what is going on in our lives, rather than simply react in stress. It invites a way through chaos & complexity. We are able to feel life’s hope & possibilities and gather our resources for the onward journey. We are able to walk alongside others harmoniously, even as we differ and disagree.
From the outset, our dream was met with incredible interest & support. So many of our diverse community played a part in this coming together, particularly our 10 major sponsors; successful local, national & international businesses. Hundreds of others gave time, an ear, an artwork, a few dollars or several thousand. Every single one played a part & 100% of what was given went directly towards the project.
And now, in spite of continued challenges, we can look forward with a shared outlook – to new possibilities for our city and region. We had no idea when we began this journey, that Covid-19 was around the corner & would change our lives and our world drastically. Or how this project would teach us that our future, when faced step by step, becomes possible. Bunbury Garden Labyrinth awaits in stillness, at this sacred ‘Place of 3 Waters’, for your visit.
Together we did it.
Blyth,L., Jones,N. & Ngan,C. (July 2021)