Uncommon Attraction: Walking the Path to Peace at the Grand Bahama Labyrinth
Meditative activities, whether pursued for spiritual purposes or simple relaxation, are easy to come by all across the Caribbean. Any walk down the beach to a secluded spot away from the crowds affords the opportunity to clear the mind fully and completely while gazing out at the sea, the rhythmically crashing surf setting the mood beautifully.
For those wishing to take a more structured path to enlightenment, there’s the Grand Bahama Labyrinth.
One of just a handful of labyrinths found throughout the Caribbean, the Grand Bahama version debuted in 2008. Its design is based closely on the sacred labyrinth located inside the Medieval Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres in France, the oldest-known path of its kind.
Notice I said path and not maze. Indeed, there’s a big difference between the two, as noted on the sign that sits astride the Grand Bahama Labyrinth…
A labyrinth has a single path that leads dependably – although circuitously – to the center. If you stay on the path you WILL reach the center. A maze, on the other hand, has many paths and intersections, the purpose of which is to challenge and confuse you.
People all around the world have been following labyrinths for centuries. They originally started as a means for Christians to make symbolic journeys to The Holy Land, praying and meditating along the way to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
These days, people of all faiths and beliefs turn to labyrinths for the peaceful balance they can provide simply by taking a walk. Again, from the sign…
May each pilgrim from near and far be welcomed here and blessed on the path, creating an outpouring of healing, compassion, love, and peace to flow across our Islands and our Planet.
The Grand Bahama Labyrinth is located in the heart of The Garden of the Groves, a 12-acre natural wildlife habitat that originally opened in 1973. There’s lots to see and explore here, but the Labyrinth stands out to me. It’s said to be the first and only Chartres-style Labyrinth in the Caribbean, though its foundation is 100% Bahamian through and through.
No, really. The base, measuring 50 feet in diameter, is constructed of limestone mined locally on Grand Bahama Island. The blue that provides the border for the path is composed of ground granite specially engineered to create a custom color now known as Bahama Blue.
It’s impossible not to feel a deep sense of peace here. All around, your senses are soothed by waterfalls, singing birds and rustling native plants. Fittingly, most of the flora found near the Labyrinth carries healing properties, further denoting the restorative nature of this special place.
A simple walk. A little introspection. A path to peace. We should all be so lucky to make such a journey…