BOSTON, Mass.—Over 100 Boston community members, tourists and locals strolling through the city gathered at Armenian Heritage Park on Sunday to enjoy a meditative evening walk on the labyrinth.
“In New England, just because you plant some grass and a few trees and put some benches around, doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to spend some time there. So I figured we had to have a device,” said Park architect Don Tellalian, recalling his inspiration for creating the communal park in the heart of Boston 12 years ago. “I know even as a kid, that if you have a pattern on the ground, and you walk around it, you enjoy it. And I thought, gee, let’s do a labyrinth. And the labyrinth represents the journey of life.”
Step by step, patrons walked the snow-paved, candlelit path on Sunday night keeping warm with hot chocolate cupped in their hands. They also participated in an ancient Armenian legend, writing wishes on ribbons and tying them to a wishing tree. Then, the Ladies First acapella group from Wellesley High School enchanted guests with popular Christmas carols.
Fascinated visitors eager to learn about Armenian history circled Tellalian as he explained the significance of the abstract sculpture next to the labyrinth. Water streaming down the side of the figure signified the tears of the Armenian people after losing Western Armenian lands after the Armenian Genocide. “The tears turn into a single jet of water coming through the center of the labyrinth representing hope and rebirth,” explained Tellalian.
Over the years, the Park has surpassed its primary purpose of memorializing the Armenian Genocide. It has become a space that resonates with all citizens who embrace human rights. The massive rhombic dodecahedron is split apart every year to create a new shape to embody the immigrant experience—those who were pulled away from their country of origin to migrate to the US. North Andover native Nancy Smith tells the Weekly she plans on revisiting the park to view the new configuration, scheduled for March 29, 2020.