Podcast: Bainbridge Outdoors:
Landscape artist describes contemplative labyrinth in serene park

<i>Podcast: Bainbridge Outdoors:</i> <br>Landscape artist describes contemplative labyrinth in serene park


Bainbridge Island OutdoorsWith BCB host Kayla Black, we meet Jeffrey Bales — a landscape artist who designed a stone-surface labyrinth for a small contemplative Bainbridge park that is unique for having a Tibetan prayer wheel.

Landscape artist Jeffrey Bale pictured with one of his labyrinths.
Landscape artist Jeffrey Bale pictured with one of his labyrinths.

In this episode of Bainbridge Outdoors, we hear about a Bainbridge Island outdoor destination that is cherished by many — especially walkers and cyclists who are careful not to spoil the solitude.  The quiet spot is on the wooded north slope above and overlooking Blakely Harbor, in southern Bainbridge Island.

Labyrinths have a very ancient history with some of the earliest examples being labyrinth paintings dating back 3000 years. The ancient Greeks created many labyrinths, and Jeffrey visited the labyrinth on the island of Crete at Knossos. One of the best known labyrinths in the world is the 800-year-old eleven circuit labyrinth at Chartre Cathedral in France. Jeffrey made a point of studying the extensive history, the mythos and the structure, and then applied that knowledge to this project.

The labyrinth at the park nestled above Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island
The labyrinth at the park nestled above Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island

In modern times, people have begun to re-embrace labyrinths for their use in mindfulness and meditation. Labyrinths offer a walking meditation to those who walk them. Offering solace and calm to our distracted and overactive minds. Labyrinths are also used as a pathway and as a metaphorical journey to ponder life’s great mysteries — connecting us to the universe.

In this interview Jeffrey talks about his intention and the process of building the labyrinth. He carried stone from several beaches around Bainbridge. Many of those stones came from around the world to our shores as ballast for ships coming to load wood.

Labyrinth on Bainbridge IslandEach of the circuits of this labyrinth have meaning and each circuit has ties to the larger universe. If you would like more information about the labyrinth, please visit the Jeffrey Bales website at http://jeffreygardens.blogspot.com

The park and its labyrinth have been featured in a story and extensive gallery of photos in our community’s online newspaper, InsideBainbridge.com

Credits: BCB host: Kayla Black; BCB production manager, studio tech and editor: Lyssa Danehy deHart; BCB nature music: Jeffrey Powel; BCB podcast art: artopia creative.