Over the weekend, I completed a project I had been planning for nearly a year, constructing a butterfly labyrinth at my college's kindergarten. With my daughter's help, I marked out with tape the shape of the butterfly, painted it green and then pulled off the tape to reveal the butterfly. The butterfly is a particular shade of green to match the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly which is native to the subtropics of eastern Australia. The butterfly, which was near extinct, is attracted to a particular vine we have growing in the rainforest on our campus. With the help of senior students, we hope to plant some of the vines around the college and kindy. The butterfly is also special to us as a community, especially at this time of the year because of the Christian symbolism of new life and resurrection. God has perfect time because there has been an abundance of butterflies flying all along the Sunshine Coast over these recent autumn weeks. In coming weeks, I look forward to leading children through this butterfly labyrinth and link together for them these aspects of our local environment and Christian spirituality. Enjoy this one and a half minute video of the construction process. Thanks to the Pacific Early Learning Centre Director Julie McCosker and of course my daughter Ella.
As indicated on previous posts, making a temporary labyrinth is easy. Whether on a carpet, wood, or lino floor, a temporary tape labyrinth is easy to install with the right tool. I regularly make these labyrinths at camps, in our early learning centre and in classrooms. In this video I am using a packing tape dispenser I have modified on a long handle to make a simple six circuit spiral labyrinth in a kindergarten setting. With this tool I can make it in a couple of minutes and not break my back. Even the youngest of kids can walk it and the best part after they have each had a go at practicing stillness is that I invite them to help me rip up the tape off the floor, which they love.
At an Australian Labyrinth Network Gathering I was blessed to join a group of people to learn how to paint a seven circuit Petite Chartres labyrinth. Labyrinth creator Lisa Gidlow Moriarty from Stillwater Minnesota was our teacher. It took an evening and a day to pencil the design on the canvas, put down the paint tape along the pencil marks, and then carefully paint the fields, centre and outside lunations. It was an inspiring creative time to join others in community to paint this beautiful canvas labyrinth.
I recently made some temporary labyrinths on a Year 7 Camp. It was the first time I had made an indoor labyrinth and it was very easy to do. So easy, that with the right equipment, I used up 150 metres of masking tape!
On the first night of the camp we had 60 girls spending sometime in reflection and journalling followed by the labyrinth walk. We were in a carpeted dining room and because of the number of girls I made three labyrinths of masking tape on the carpet. To do this I had to purchase a particular style of packing tape dispenser from Officeworks which I could modify. What I did was take off the short plastic handle from the metal base plate and screw it to a longer wooden handle at the right angle for me to walk with it to roll the sticky side of the tape on the floor.
The labyrinth pattern that I followed from the centre out was a six ringed spiral which was then adjusted to provide an entrance, a parallel short path and two 180 degree turns. The labyrinth was easy to make with the right equipment and a hand drawn pattern to follow. On the second night when it was the boys turn to walk them, it was a delight to see some of the Year 7 boys kneeling in the centre praying. What a witness to the other students who were new to our school!
About this site
"Meditations & Musings" is my humble attempt to share what I have found useful in ministry in an Australian Lutheran School setting. It contains chapels, devotions and other resources I have written, used and adapted in my K-12 school context. If you would like to also share your ideas, resources or start a conversation about mission and ministry in your church- school location, feel free to contact me.
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