The Saffron Walden Common was pulsing with activity this weekend as creative mazemakers delighted the crowds with opportunities to lose and find themselves both literally and metaphorically.
On the historic turf maze, modern competitors followed century-old rules to race each other to the centre on Sunday afternoon. The proud winner, with a time of 6 minutes 45 seconds, took home the Golden Welly to commemorate his achievement.
A more modern offering, with another perspective on history, was this spiraling labyrinth made of cloth strips from the personal fabric stashes of the maker and her friends.
Walking this labyrinth was a very profound and tactile experience as the breezes blew the fabric into the pathway with the strips lightly brushing up against the walkers – history literally touched modernity.
Meanwhile, for anyone wanting a quieter walk, St. Mary’s Church offered a lovely labyrinth painted onto hardboard and laid out in an atmospheric setting:
And a wander through the pews revealed yet more labyrinths, this time as hand worked tapestry kneeling cushions – we counted five in total. More seem to appear each time we visit.
It’s truly a-maze-ing how this brilliant festival managed to present so many aspects of their community’s history, creativity, and spirituality, ensuring that its long association to the labyrinth symbol will continue far into the future, with new generations discovering its diversity and potential.