Earth is the third closest planet to the solar after Mercury and Venus. It’s the solely planet not named after a Roman or Greek God. The title Earth is derived for an Anglo Saxon phrase Erde which has Germanic origins. It’s the densest planet in our photo voltaic system and the most important of the ‘terrestrial planets’. Earth was shaped about four 1/2 billion years in the past and easy molecular life types originated within the planet’s seas a couple of billion years later, probably round thermal vents deep within the oceans. These organisms proliferated and commenced forming a biosphere that considerably altered the planet’s ambiance, creating an ozone layer that blocks life inhibiting photo voltaic radiation. This enabled life types to finally transfer from the seas to land lots. Earth is in simply the proper place for all times to occur. Its all a matter of circumstance that this little speck within the Universe developed in the best way it did. And the outcomes of this chemical manifestation have been magnificent. The planet is in fixed flux in a symbiotic melange of methods that adapt to each modulation within the setting. The organisms that thrive right here have taken benefit of each circumstance in what was an ever increasing number of species till our present species got here alongside. Its believed meteorite ended the period of the dinosaurs, who dominated the Earth for 180 million years. We have been right here for about a million years, at first residing as a part of the ecosystem, till we attained the flexibility to change the setting in an effort to subsist on a extra controllable degree.
Within the final 540 million years, the time span the place the fossil information present the existence of huge populations of complicated laborious shelled organisms, the Earth has skilled between 5 and 20 mass extinctions. At the moment our impression as a species is inflicting one other one. Our hominid ancestors developed in to a extremely adaptable species, able to residing in various climates from the tropics to the Arctic. After the final ice age ended, Homo sapiens populations grew exponentially. We at the moment quantity about 7.2 billion individuals. That quantity is projected to extend by one other billion within the subsequent 10 years! The impression that this inhabitants explosion has had on this planet is much reaching. It’s estimated that 30,000 species will turn out to be extinct within the subsequent yr, about one each three hours. A report in Nationwide Geographic journal predicts that 1/4th of all species on the planet are threatened with extinction by 2050.
|Considered one of 4 bronze ecosystem panels on the Prayer Wheel in Halls Hill Park|
At the moment our disconnect from the pure world is at an all time excessive. Most American’s data of nature comes largely from watching tv. The bulk spend much more time texting than communing with the pure world and issues in regards to the economic system fee far larger than environmental issues in polls. I’m eternally grateful that I used to be taught to like and respect the Earth despite the fact that observing the best way that we degrade our pure world generally is a very troublesome factor to observe.
|An unbelievable array of colourful seaweeds washed up on the shore of Rockaway Seashore|
Nonetheless, I discover this planet to be so fabulous that it’s my life’s aim to discover as a lot of it as I can I am ready. One of many nice methods has been to stability the need to be a vagabond with working and having a house and backyard. Its one of many causes I select to work exterior. I take the winters off when the backyard is dormant and the climate inclement in Oregon. I’ve most likely realized extra touring than I’ve doing every thing else mixed.
What I’ve seen out there may be nothing in need of breath taking. Earth is roofed in gems, lots of them artificial however one of the best being pure landscapes. We are inclined to fully alter the panorama to swimsuit our wants, leaving no remnant of what was naturally there. I really feel extremely lucky to be constructing this Labyrinth on a website surrounded by nature. I’ve returned to Bainbridge Island this time to finish the challenge.
The Earth circuit is the one I selected to construct as “the Neighborhood circuit,” an thought steered by my shopper to make the labyrinth extra participatory. The concept was to have individuals convey stones and located objects that I might use to construct the third circuit from the middle. We made a pleasant signal explaining what I used to be searching for and folks slowing began to depart stones. Since I have been again on the positioning this Spring just a few extra piles have appeared and the choice appears to be like good. Folks have left collections of seaside glass, geodes, an amethyst crystal, Ammonite fossils, a Tibetan lock, and oxidized metallic spikes and nails from the times when ship constructing was a profitable commerce on the island.
|An assortment of stones and different objects donated for the Neighborhood circuit|
I loaded the truck with my gear for the 2 ultimate weeks of labor and crammed the fuel tank (Saudi oil? Home Fracking? Tar Sands?) and obtained on that huge strip of visitors clogged pavement that’s Interstate 5 and drove again to Bainbridge Island on April 15th. My largest environmental sin is driving a fossil fueled automobile over lengthy distances, pumping greenhouse gases in to the ambiance. As soon as I am settled in right here although I’m staying only a minute from the positioning which makes for a really low carbon foot print commute.
The evening earlier than I left Portland there was a full moon with a lunar eclipse that was dazzlingly seen from my again yard, with Mars shining purple above it. It appears to be an auspicious time to renew work on the Labyrinth.
|Full Lunar Eclipse with Mars above and a vivid star to the proper|
I arrived on the island and drove first to Fay Bainbridge Park, which I hadn’t been to earlier than. There’s a lengthy huge seaside backed by driftwood logs there. I combed it for small pebbles to make use of to make flower petals as a result of within the Earth circuit I’m celebrating the richness and fertility that’s distinctive to the planet we reside on.
|The seaside at Fay Bainbridge Park|
Once I arrived on the website I eliminated the types from the work I left behind and commenced clearing the world that I will be working in. A yard of crushed rock had been delivered to fill the gaps between the circuits but it surely does not match the great gravel I used to be utilizing earlier than, so I’m filling the gaps 2/3rds of the best way and high dressing it with gravel that I am scooping off the parking space up by the highway, doubling the quantity of labor required for this step within the challenge. Someone left a purple tulip on a boulder which I positioned between the 2 white loops close to the ‘Clouds of Heaven’ loops within the northerly route of the Labyrinth and later buried in gravel.
|A purple tulip left on the Labyrinth|
This began the cycle of being drained and sore that can progress as I make my option to the top of the challenge. The ache in my shoulder had almost gone away throughout my break, with the assistance of therapeutic massage. My supplies nonetheless hadn’t been delivered the following day so I frolicked organising types and sorting rock, after which went to Fort Ward Park to do some discrete seaside combing.
|Fort Ward Seashore|
It was a chilly damp day so the seaside stone was moist, exhibiting off the colours. I gathered extra small pebbles to make use of as flower petals and a few bigger stones in colours I’m brief on for the sides of the trail. There are some attention-grabbing bedrock formations uncovered alongside the Fort Ward seaside that make circles surrounded by rings of skinny layers, with the colourful seaside stones filling the depressions.
|Mushy bedrock formations at Fort Ward Seashore|
It’s preparations like these that affect the best way that I work. I am all the time studying from Nature, who I think about the best trainer.
My challenge supervisor Gregory picked up eight luggage of mortar for me because the supply of a contemporary pallet did not occur that day. I combined 4 luggage and labored till darkish, making time consuming little flowers with bits of inexperienced seaside glass individuals had introduced. I’ve to place them in on edge and they’re fairly small. They got here out wanting like Sea Anemones, which I like. I left a niche within the mosaic in order that I can join the Mars circuit to Earth circuit later. The spans between loops are getting shorter than the metal bands that I exploit for types so I’m having to work round that. I had new strips reduce from a thinner gauge of metal as a result of the bends are getting tighter and I want higher flexibility than the thicker metal strips I have been utilizing will tolerate. The brand new strips are so skinny that I’ve to make use of two of them sandwiched collectively to offer them the rigidity to carry the form of the curves.
|Inexperienced seaside glass ‘Sea AAnemones|
The subsequent day I labored my means round to the western cardinal level, the place I set a donated Ammonite fossil and made a pair extra Sea Anemones utilizing brown beer bottle seaside glass.
|An Ammonite Fossil, brown seaside glass ‘Sea Anemones, and alabaster cube within the west of the Neighborhood circuit|
A girl named Ellen who lives under the park got here up and introduced me some fantastic items of oxidized metallic her husband had collected from the seaside, together with nails with copper in them which have a pleasant inexperienced patina.
|The gathering of lovely previous metallic spikes, nails, and seaside glass that Ellen’s husband collected|
I labored till the rain made it too depressing to proceed, so I went house to my place for lunch and was rewarded with a spectacular double rainbow that lasted for over an hour. I walked again to the positioning, taking within the vibrant damp greens of Spring and set issues up for the following day. The climate is meant to be drier tomorrow, so I’ll make good progress.
|Double Rainbow over Puget Sound|
Within the morning I headed for the positioning sooner than standard. The solar was shining and that may be very motivating while you work exterior. It was a phenomenal day, with birds chirping, woodpeckers pecking, and me making mosaics. Some good individuals got here by and I gave them excursions and made flowers for those who turned the Prayer Wheel. Within the afternoon I completed the bends within the south from the Mars to the Earth circuit.
|Bends connecting the 4th to the third circuit|
Within the bend to the left I included a Tibetan lock solid with the Bodhisattva Purple Tara solid on the entrance and a beautiful mandala that’s now set completely in mortar. I surrounded it with skinny pink and purple stones, together with some stunning metamorphic ones within the crown that I collected from a seaside whereas I used to be in Greece. Once I returned the following day a Madrone leaf had fallen and coated her, and I noticed that it may very well be an ideal offense to religious Buddhists to have positioned her ready the place she may very well be stepped on. I left the leaf masking her the remainder of the time I labored on the mosaics as safety, and would really like individuals to be conscious of her and to step round her, and to make a vow of loving compassion. Thanks.
A girl named Lyssa got here by and requested if I might do a radio interview with the native entry radio station. I talked to a different girl, Catherine about having Monks from the island’s monastery come to do a blessing and chant round it when it’s completed. I’ve envisioned individuals sitting on every of the 12 boulders and becoming a member of in a targeted chant. I might like to see individuals dance on it as properly. Deliver flowers to set within the gravel between the paths, or choices to position at factors you discover particular to you. There’ll finally be a brush so you’ll be able to sweep it. There are millions of particulars to be discovered in case you search them out. Strolling this labyrinth is supposed to be an enchanting journey in Time and House.
I labored from the purpose I ended at yesterday, setting the Neighborhood circuit from the Western cardinal level to the place a pair of bends will happen connecting to the 2nd circuit, the Venus circuit. Within the space with orange stone I positioned a duplicate of the Phaistos Disk, which I purchased after I was on the island of Crete in Greece this winter. The unique disk was discovered within the Minoan palace complicated at Phaistos and is twice the dimensions of the copy I purchased. It’s thought-about to be the oldest identified instance of typography. Carved seals have been stamped right into a moist clay pill in a spiraling line however the textual content has by no means been deciphered. Numerous copies in a wide range of colours have been produced for the memento market. I selected one which mimicked the unique. Surrounding the disk I set bits of purple grout from the palace website and pottery shards from the Minoan palace at Knossos. I added to the combination some alabaster cube making the numbers 7 and 11 together with small orange seaside pebbles, creating a unusual flower.
|A replica of the Phaistos Disk|
From orange space I labored my means in to black stones after which white the place the bends to the Venus circuit might be linked later.
There may be loads of rain the forecast, making Spring on Puget Sound lush and vibrantly inexperienced. The most effective elements of this challenge is after I go to space seashores to gather stones. I wanted to go to city and purchase extra rebar so I ended at a seaside at low tide on Eagle Harbor the place the city of Winslow is positioned. The choice right here is proscribed however I can all the time use small stones, and I wish to use materials from as most of the island’s seashores as attainable.
|A seaside on Eagle Harbor|
Connecting Eagle Harbor to Rockaway seaside the place I gather most of my stone is Creosote Level. This was as soon as a significant facility for treating wooden with coal tar as a preservative for making energy poles and pilings for docks. The plant operated for 80 years till environmental issues compelled its closure. The contaminated website was designated a Superfund website by the federal government and efforts to include the contamination proceed to today. There’s a massive metal wall enclosing the positioning and the water here’s a murky brown colour. There’s a park alongside the shoreline exterior the metal partitions, which is roofed with barnacles and small mussels on the tide line.
|The seaside at Creosote Level|
I discovered two stunning large moon snail shells on the seaside which might be as massive as a small fist. I later crammed one with mortar and positioned it in a bend within the Neighborhood circuit. The subsequent day was Easter Sunday and the climate was stunning (God smiling on egg hunts). I went all the way down to the Labyrinth and arrange the types looping to the Venus circuit. A girl named Helen got here down and requested if I had discovered a ceramic coronary heart she had left in a small bag on the boulder the place stones have been left for the Neighborhood circuit. I instructed her I had taken it house to determine a option to set up it in order that it would not fall out later as a result of it is rather skinny. It was a meant as a memorial to her younger son who had handed away. Our dialog was so candy and tender and a kind of moments that makes this challenge so particular.
After that I went to a beautiful brunch given by my hosts for his or her household. All of them came around the Labyrinth after which Deborah Cheadle, who I met yesterday got here to take me over to the nation membership to gather stones on the gorgeous seashores that encompass this unique level on the island. That is an space of stately previous properties with marvelous views throughout a pasture like golf course. We sat within the solar and picked small colourful stones and visited via the afternoon. I realized so much about island historical past and obtained to see some advantageous properties and gardens on this wonderful day. Bainbridge Island is an extremely stunning place to reside.
|Bainbridge Reef by the Nation Membership|
Then I returned and constructed the loop connecting the Earth circuit to the Venus circuit. A pair got here because it was getting darkish, their first go to to the park. They stated they’d convey me some stones as their final title is Rockefeller.
|The colourful pebbles Deborah and I collected on the seaside by the Nation Membership|
I completed the Neighborhood circuit after I constructed the loops within the white northerly route that join it to the Venus circuit. These loops are particular in that I included Helen’s ceramic coronary heart devoted to her son. I set some geodes that belonged to a person who handed away who’s title I have no idea, and made petals with bits of donated seaside glass and ceramic crockery, and stones given to me by a pair who’s canine Reilly had simply handed away. I surrounded all of this with particular bits of marble I gathered in Greece from the Temples of Dionysos, Demeter, the Delian Apollo, the Temple of Hera on Samos, and the ruins of a Hellenistic home on the island of Paros, and a stone I introduced again from Pompeii four years in the past. Please tread frivolously while you stroll on these delicate turns within the path.
One other circuit accomplished, in honor of the unbelievable planet on which we reside. Could we honor it and deal with it with love in order that it could proceed to maintain us. That’s my want. Thanks to the individuals who introduced stones and significant object used to create it, and thanks for studying my ramblings, Jeffrey