A handful of hardy celebrants kept social distance at Sisters Community Labyrinth on Thursday. They were treated to a short demonstration by Pat Leiser, who placed objects around the labyrinth to represent celestial objects in the solar system. A golden orb representing the sun sat on the labyrinth’s center stone. Globes, apples, oranges, and shamrocks symbolized planets and the various locations of Earth during the year.

The official first day of spring in some Western cultures, vernal equinox marks a time of year when the days contain approximately an equal number of daylight and nighttime hours. Christian holidays including St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are said to have descended from the ancient traditions of equinox.

A child led the walkers, ringing a Tibetan singing bowl. When everyone reached the labyrinth’s center, they reflected on the strange times at hand. Grief and worry were expressed; so were hope and determination. Marveling at the beauty of the first day of spring, the walkers offered each other “air hugs” before wending their way back to the labyrinth’s entrance.

Jan McGowan, member of the Sisters Community Labyrinth Committee at Sisters Park & Recreation District, had sent out the announcement that the equinox walk would not be canceled.

“This is an outdoor event and we are asking people to maintain a safe, six-foot distance from one another,” she wrote.

McGowan noted, “If you prefer not to attend a gathering this week, feel welcome to visit the labyrinth anytime on your own. It is always open and usually empty… the labyrinth is always there for your use, and walking it promotes relaxation, meditation, and reflection. Enjoy!”

Sisters Community Labyrinth is located inside East Portal, a park-like, nearly triangular piece of land located at the confluence of highways 20 and 242. Its driveway is on W. Hood Avenue, between Takoda’s/Bi-Mart and XPress Printing/Les Schwab. An interpretive map of Sisters and surrounding passes is located there as well. The parking lot and bathrooms are closed for winter; parking is available nearby.