KENOSHA — Joy Latuvnik-Morin has brought joy to beachgoers in the form of a labyrinth.
When Mother Nature brought Wisconsin sunny skies and warm weather last week, Latuvnik-Morin used her time off of work to soak up the sunshine while creating a masterpiece on Alford Beach, located just below the overlook near Carthage College, off Sheridan Road.
For 10 years, Joy has wanted to create a space where she and others could center themselves.
Nearby labyrinths that are available are often associated with religious centers. Joy, who frequents trips to the beach, knew that a neutral location was what she needed. Building it on the beach is a way others could enjoy the creation, too.
Work experience relates to life
While Joy is not originally from Wisconsin, she now calls Kenosha her home. She has previous experience working as a Doula. It was during her time, years ago, that she spent serving mothers and newborns that she discovered the connection to the labyrinth.
She explains that she learned that childbirth was a transformation process. The Doulas used the labyrinth as a main instrument to demonstrate, to mothers, the journey of the process.
It not only was applicable to them but also to the general population.
“You have a goal and as you enter the labyrinth, you run towards that goal,” explains Joy. “You can see how close you are. Then your path is like ‘I’m right there,’ but then you take a little turn and you feel like you are so far from where you’re supposed to end up, but as long as you keep walking on that path…”
She encourages people to keep walking the path because they will reach the goal and complete the journey.
At the same time when she was serving as a Doula, Latuvnik-Morin purchased a pack of finger labyrinth cards for her daughter. This deck of cards isn’t a ack of playing cards; it’s purpose is for use as a meditative tool. Users can trace their fingers around the labyrinth’s path wherever they are, for a mini-meditation session.
Instead of passing them off to her loved one, she ended up hanging onto the tool for herself. That tool served her for years and was the inspiration for the layout of the labyrinth Joy built on the beach.
Building a beach labyrinth
“I started with a spiral and worked my way out. I found a stick on the beach that I used as my measuring tool. To keep my path relatively the same width, I just kept measuring it out and worked from one side to another. It was over seven hours of physical labor,” explains Joy.
The building of the labyrinth came following Latuvnik-Morin’s daily meditation and walk with her dog at Simmons Island, 5001 4th Ave.
“I was like exhausted later. My lovely wife, she walked it first, and then she let me have my moment,” says Joy.
Now, Joy gets the opportunity to help others walk through it as well. Those who have already visited the beach and have been in contact with her have told Joy how much they appreciate and enjoy the structure on the beach.
“It is my heart’s desire to have this type of effect on the world,” says Joy.
She is encouraging people to respect the space, but also add to it. Since its development, people have added their own painted rocks and findings from the beach.
One visitor added a painted rock that says “Hugs Matter” and the placement of that rock meant a lot to Joy.
“Anybody and everybody who knows me knows I give the best hugs,” says Joy. “My hugs are one of my greatest gifts. And to see that, it was just like, you might as well – it might as well – just say ‘Joy matters.'”
It’s a message that adds to the positivity that this formation brings.
“Let’s continue to make it a sacred space and show one another that there are loving people in the world, and the love energy is what matters,” says Joy.
More in store at Alford Beach
By Loren Lamoreaux
The labyrinth isn’t the only inspirational element you can discover at Alford Beach. Dozens of people flock to the wild grasses and rocky sands on the shore of Lake Michigan for a number of reasons. How many unique elements can you find?
• Aside from the labyrinth, stone formations spell out loved ones’ initials, peace signs and much more.
• Cairns, which is Gaelic for “heap of stones,” pop up in different spots along the shore.
• Pathways are built with stones in seemingly random areas.
• Wooden standing structures pepper the landscape.
• Interesting driftwood and stones abound.
• Even the occasional remains of something that was once living can pop up.
• Sea glass is a big draw for a lot of beachcombers.
Take a virtual visit in this slideshow, then head to the beach yourself and see what you can find.