Many have walked Bandon’s beach and taken in its beauty: towering sea stacks, perfect sand, ever-changing skies, crashing waves, and talkative birds. Not everyone, however, has been lucky enough to be rounding the point under the Face Rock Viewpoint when Denny Dyke and his wife Lita are out with their rakes and a vision, creating beautiful and intricate labyrinths in the sand.
Denny, a member of Labyrinth Network Northwest, has been involved with labyrinths for over 10 years and has been drawing them on the beaches in Bandon since 2010. When he ended his first career manufacturing plastic bottles, his life took a more spiritual path, one that led him to start a business providing labyrinth experiences, and after a brief stint working at the Bandon Dunes, decided he needed to focus full time on the labyrinths, which he refers to as Circles in the Sand.
Labyrinths are geometric figures, typically circles, with a path leading to and then out of the center. Unlike mazes, they have only one path for walkers to follow. The use of labyrinths dates back a few millennia to the pre-Greek Minoan culture, and has its place in Greek mythology as the structure that held the part man-part bull Minotaur. Since then, they have been used all over the world for a number of purposes. In more recent years, they are used in meditative practice, helping their users sharpen their focus as they walk its paths. One of the most famous labyrinths at the Chartres Cathedral in France is one that Denny has recreated in the sand. A copy of it can also be found off one of the hiking trails at the Bandon Dunes golf resort.
The creation of Denny’s circles in the sand always brings curious spectators, both on the beach and from vantage points above at the Face Rock viewpoint or Coquille Point. It is not uncommon to find beach walkers pause and watch as they take form, and Denny is happy to answer questions while he draws. The labyrinths can last for several hours, and they are well-used until the wind or the tide wipes the beach clean, ready for a new one.
For an up-to-date schedule of Circles in the Sand, visit Denny’s website at OnePath.us.