Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church Labyrinth in Austin, TX

” All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.” This reminder from Ecclesiastes 3:20 calls to the depths of who we are on Ash Wednesday as Christians enter the season of Lent. What better way to get in touch with our “dusty” nature than to pray a labyrinth outdoors?

Being welcomed and led

Greeted by the overwhelming scent of juniper, my memory was ignited. I recalled many walks in western woods where the junipers which their distinctive aroma both grounded and lifted me at the same time.

The labyrinth blends into its context

Sounds filled the air as I made my way toward the labyrinth. Children were screeching with delight on a nearby playground. Birds were singing in the woods. I could hear water running in a neighbor’s yard across the gully. Insects buzzed. Yard construction equipment pounded. Somehow, no sound seemed out of place. They folded themselves into my consciousness as I opened my heart to wherever the path would lead.

Stepping onto the path, the sensation of the wind caressing my face invited me to look up. The trees were gently swaying. My body, feeling the same force that moved them, wanted to join in the dance more fully.

The center of the center

Arriving in the center of the five-circuit 30-foot medieval-style pattern, I sat on the warmest part of the sun-dappled rock. My hand rested on its face, touching the roughness of the past. I felt the solidity of the stone supporting me, inviting me to rest safely.

An invitation to contemplation

There was so much to look at! So much to see through. A bench placed beside the labyrinth became a window into the hospitality of those who had prepared the space for all who would come. My eyes told me that this labyrinth was well-cared for and that God’s love was being shared through others’ care-full attention to the maintenance of this labyrinth.

Just beyond the labyrinth is a small area for worship where this cross stands behind a rustic pulpit.

After having finished my walk, exploring the nearby paths, and coming back, I returned to the labyrinth to walk again. During this second experience, I remained in the center for a long time. My stillness took me on an inner journey where I noticed that the elements in me felt at home amidst the elements around me. I am dust. One day, I will return to dust. We all will. It is a deep, sometimes frightening, and even beautiful truth.

When our dust was imbued with breath, our senses were awakened. How grateful I am for places and spaces like labyrinths where we can experience, sense, and contemplate the deeper nature of our lives and Life.

More Information:
Address: 7127 Bee Caves Rd. Austin, Texas 78746 512-327-1116 Website: whpc.org/labyrinth
GPS: 30.301852° Lat.; -97.843277° Long.
The labyrinth is located in the lower part of the WHPC campus, just off the lower parking lot.
The WHPC labyrinth is the fulfillment of the vision of Lorena Chiles, a Girl Scout, and member of WHPC. Lorena chose the creation of the labyrinth as her Girl Scout Silver Award project in 2016. There is more information on the website listed above.

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2 thoughts on “Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church Labyrinth in Austin, TX

  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts of how this particular labyrinth resonated within you. An excellent mediation for Ash Wednesday.

  2. Pingback: Peace Lutheran Church Labyrinth in Austin | Through Jill's Eyes

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