Twenty years ago - October 1995 - I was approached by a group of ladies at our Episcopal church outside of Baltimore MD asking for help translating the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth design onto a large canvas they had made from painter's drop cloths.
I knew what they were talking about as Chartres was a subject of particular interest. My undergraduate history degree had concentrated on the Medieval period, particularly the High Gothic, of which Chartres may be the finest example. And I was good at math and geometry.
After that first canvas labyrinth was lent to other churches, they would engage me to help them create their own walking meditation spaces. Through word of mouth, referrals, and then the nascent Internet, demand increased to the point where we formed The Labyrinth Company to meet the needs of the market. When we placed our first ads with Yahoo and Google business swelled and then surged.
Twenty years of labyrinth work has brought our completed project count well above 5000. We offer 46 designs, most our original creations plus the historic options like Chartres and the Classical types. It is satisfying work, doing good for so many who experience walking our labyrinths.
I'll close this nostalgic piece with a note received yesterday from Spirit of Life Church in Apple Valley MN. They used one of our stencil sets to decorate their parish hall floor with a Vision Quest a la Chartres labyrinth this past week: "David, We absolutely love it. It was hard work, knees, backs, and everything is sore, and it is beautiful. Thank You and God Bless, Rev. Rob Smith."