You are invited to attend.
Providence Farm to Unveil New Healing Garden
To mark World Mental Health Day, October 10th, Providence Farm, Duncan will publicly unveil its newest therapeutic project: a healing labyrinth.
In the shadow of Mount Tzouhalem, behind the iconic, century-old wooden schoolhouse of Providence Farm, a new landscape is taking shape. From a distance it looks like a crop circle or a giant tub of peanut butter swirl. In fact the circular pattern of soil and gravel that recently emerged from behind the Farm’s allotments is the foundation for a labyrinth garden.
Paid for by a grant from the Victoria Foundation and designed with the help of Camosun College’s Horticulture Department, the labyrinth garden is expected to enhance the Farm’s world class horticulture therapy program.
“The labyrinth at Providence Farm marks a wonderful step forward for the Farm in celebrating the unique spirits and neurodiversity we all share as human beings,” says Chris Holt, Providence Farm’s Executive Director.
Participants and volunteers will begin planting this month. And the labyrinth garden will be unveiled on World Mental Health Day, Tuesday, October 10th, 2pm-4pm. You are invited to attend.
“Rain delays left us many months behind,” says Alicia Taylor, Nature Based Therapy Program Coordinator at the Farm, “and hot weather has hindered our planting and work, but we trust we will arrive at our destination in good time.”
Drawing on the image of a fiddlehead fern, the five-circuit labyrinth will be wheelchair accessible, and is designed to allow easy access to the centre for those unable to make the journey along the circuitous route.
“It’s a setting that fosters the habitats of native plant species and vital food plants, as well as plants specific for their therapeutic benefit,” says Alicia Taylor, who conceived the project as a microcosm of Providence Farm. “Its purpose is to evoke calm, inward contemplation.”
Providence Farm hopes its labyrinth garden will be a therapeutic, safe and accessible place for program participants and community members to actively and passively experience the power of a labyrinth to evoke self-awareness, contentedness, and acceptance. Farm therapists seek to understand how certain landscapes and spaces create ease and health.
The farm invites the community of Cowichan Valley to join in the opening and celebration of the labyrinth and honouring of World Mental Health Day by participating in the first public walk of the labyrinth and healing garden on October 10th.
What is a Labyrinth? Not to be mistaken for a maze, which has dead ends and choices of path and direction, a labyrinth always brings you unambiguously to its centre, albeit along a path that is circular and convoluted, and presents no navigational challenge. If the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the longest is likely to be a labyrinth.
Labyrinths have been used historically both in group ritual and for private meditation, and are increasingly found for therapeutic use in hospitals and hospices.
“The labyrinth will be another tool in the farm's process for healing,” says Chris Holt, “and will enable the broader community to participate in the healing magic of the farm.”
Providence Farm invites the Cowichan Valley community to come get their minds, bodies, and spirits right through labyrinthian healing. “Knowing there are plenty within our community who share in this awe of labyrinths,” said Alicia “and respect for fostering healthful environments to the plants and people, we invite you to participate.”
Providence Farm, on 400 acres of donated forest and farmland, is a working organic farm dedicated to restoring the spirit and skills of those with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. The Farm strives to be a world class centre for healing.
Contact: Greg Cummings, firstname.lastname@example.org, (778) 587 3447
“I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars.” - Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
Alicia Taylor shows off progress of the labyrinth garden