May 7, 2014
I arrived in Elko, Nevada for the first time.
I assumed it would be my only time. You have to want to get there. And I did.
Sarah Sweetwater was waiting for me. After a year of back and forth emails and multiple changes in my travel plans to visit labyrinths in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona, Sarah and I were set to meet at 11:00.
(Please read more about Sarah on a blog posting I wrote about her in 2018.)
It was part of a Big Push, to complete my 50-state journey of walking labyrinths and gathering stories from their creators by July 4. After this trek to the west, I would have three states left. Sarah was key. At the time, Sarah's labyrinth was the only one in Nevada, listed on the Labyrinth Locator, which met my two primary criteria – located outdoors and built and/or envisioned by a woman. And from everything I had read about her online, she was a remarkable woman I was eager to meet!
June 26, 2021
I arrived in Elko, Nevada for the second time.
I assume it will be my last time, but you never know.
Drew and I left Redwood City, California early this morning, drove 530 miles, and reached Elko around 5:00. We're on a 4-day road trip to our home in Conway, Arkansas, after Drew completed his job at Alto International School in Menlo Park.
We briefly stopped at the hotel, then drove to Elko Peace Park, where – eight years before – Sarah and I walked the labyrinth she designed. Surrounded by her creativity, I wished for her warm and caring presence. Sadly, Sarah died one and a half years after my visit.
I stood at the entrance of the labyrinth, breathed deeply and said, "Thank you, dear Sarah, for the gift of this peace labyrinth and for the difference you made in the lives of many, including mine. I carried a rock that I would place in the center – to say that I was here, that I remembered.
When Sarah and I reached the center during our walk in 2014, she explained that she had designed space for the word PEACE to form concentric circles in 82 languages... "as many as I could find," she said.
Then she shared a secret.
"I included my signature somewhere among the Peace messages. Can you find it?'
When I gave up, she leaned forward and pointed....
Mountain peaks with two small Ss at their base.
I smiled today as I touched it, then gently placed the rock, and retraced my steps along the path.
June 27, 2021
Drew and I are back on the road. We carry the peace of the labyrinth with us, and invite any of you who visit Elko to experience Sarah's beautiful labyrinth for yourselves.