The labyrinth sits behind the Magee House in a quiet and peaceful corner of the park. An oak tree canopy provides the labyrinth with dappled shade and the creek nearby brings the calming sounds of water. It is our hope that the community finds the labyrinth a tranquil place to address challenge, meditate, pray and find peace and serenity.
The idea for this labyrinth began after the death of 24-year-old Will Schramm. Shortly before his death, in an automobile accident, Will had begun walking the labyrinth and shared this ancient practice with his friends. This labyrinth is a gift from the family and friends of Will Schramm and the San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church.
Internationally known labyrinth artist Marty Kermeen, from Labyrinths in Stone, was commissioned to create and install the handcrafted labyrinth in Hap Magee Ranch Park.
Follow us on the Hap Magee Labyrinth Facebook page. To read articles about Will, his life and connection to this project, read Will’s obituary, visit Alamo Today or the Contra Costa Times, or view a slide show about this project’s inspiration.
The labyrinth is the result of two years of preparation, presentations to and approvals from the Danville Parks and Leisure Commission, the Danville Arts Commission, the Alamo Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), The San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church Administrative Board and the Danville Town Council. Substantial funds had been received from memorial gifts. Under the direction of the Hap Magee Labyrinth Committee, a series of fundraisers were held during July and August of 2014: the yoga on the labyrinth class, the candlelight labyrinth walk, and the Will Schramm Memorial Golf Tournament & Auction.
In late January, 2014 the site was excavated and a concrete ring was poured. Base rock was installed within the concrete ring. On Sunday, February 8, 2015, the Groundbreaking Ceremony was held. As part of this ceremony, participants were invited to write a special message, prayer or name of a loved one on a river rock. These rocks were placed in the base and became a part of the labyrinth’s foundation.
The ground was graded and prepared, and a concrete ring poured. A gravel base was installed within the concrete ring. On a rainy Sunday, February 8, 2015, the Groundbreaking Ceremony was held. As part of this ceremony, guests were invited to write a special message or name of a loved one on a river rock. These river rocks were placed on the gravel base and became a part of the labyrinth’s foundation.
The labyrinth officially opened on May 31, 2015, with a Dedication & Opening Ceremony as family, friends, church members and the community gathered around the labyrinth. The ceremony opened with words from Tom and Dory Schramm. Pastor Ron Dunn led everyone in a responsive reading. Rev. Kathi McShane invited guests to write – on special dissolving paper – a blessing, a hope, or a prayer for the well-being of those who walk the stones of the labyrinth. These paper strips were placed in a bowl of water. The messages written on the paper dissolved into the water along with the paper. The water and these symbolic blessings were poured onto the center rosette of the labyrinth. Read more about the Dedication & Opening Ceremony.
Walking the Labyrinth
The labyrinth is open during park hours, and you are encouraged to find some time to introduce yourself to this ancient, meditative practice. Labyrinths have been constructed around the world in all cultures, and have long been used as tools for meditation, centering, and healing.
Some see the labyrinth as a metaphor for life’s journey. Some people walk with a question on their mind. Some walk in celebration of a life event. Others walk just to slow down and take time out from a busy life. Some come to find strength to take the next step. Many come during times of grief and loss. Instead of worrying about past and future, you may find yourself walking the labyrinth, immersed in the present and peaceful in the now.
Guidelines for Walking the Labyrinth
- There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Use the labyrinth in any way that meets your needs while being respectful of others walking.
- More than one person can walk the labyrinth at a time. Those going in will meet those coming out. Pass others, or allow others to pass you, simply by moving aside. Do what feels natural.
- The labyrinth is not a maze. There is only one path, so there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It is not designed for you to get lost. If you lose your way in, you will end up back at the entrance. If you lose your way out, you will end up back at the center. Simply start over.
- When you reach the center, stay as long as you like. Then return following the same path out of the center.
- Children enjoy the labyrinth. If others are walking, it’s appreciated if parents supervise their young children so all may enjoy the meditative aspects of the walk.
- Labyrinth walks can be used to celebrate rites of passage, mark joyful or solemn occasions, or simply to find a moment of peace. Found in many cultures, the labyrinth is a meditative tool that invites each of us to turn our walking and wandering into pilgrimage.
The Hap Magee Ranch Park Labyrinth Committee and the San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church are grateful to all those who made the installation of the handcrafted labyrinth possible: The family and friends of Will Schramm; The Communities of Alamo and Danville; The Danville Parks and Leisure Commission, and Dave Casteel, Maintenance Supervisor; The Danville Arts Commission; The Danville Town Council, The Alamo Municipal Advisory Council; Howard VanEs; Round Hill Country Club; Bohannan Concrete; and Marty and Debi Kermeen of Labyrinths in Stone.