Ascension Day

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Today, Camphill Village celebrates Ascension, and in 10 days, Whitsun. The Poetry Group created a poem in honor of Ascension:

Butterflies

 

A butterfly, in honor of Ascension

A butterfly, in honor of Ascension

Mariposa, a butterfly nature,

ticklish creature, shapeshifter:

from caterpillar to prettiness.

You flit from flower to flower –

fickle, mischevous.

Netted, you return my gaze

then I release you –

but you return, looking for me

through the window.

A butterfly must keep changing

his mind since he changes direction.

Butterflies wake in my tummy

as the swing goes up and down.

A Trip to Iceland

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From longtime volunteer Marty Hunt…

It had never occurred to me to visit Iceland, but I was looking for a place close to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis).  Then a very interesting community offered me a place to stay for a very reasonable price – yes, even in Iceland where things

Photo courtesy of Marty Hunt

Photo courtesy of Marty Hunt

are more than expensive.  The community was the Eco-Village Sólheimar, near Selfoss, Iceland.

Sólheimar was founded in 1930 as a home for orphans, but has since become a very interesting and economically diverse community with adults with developmental disabilities.  It has very creative craftshops, an environmental education center, guesthouses, summer public concert series, thousands of visitors every summer, vast greenhouses selling produce and seedlings in the summer, a cancer patient/family guesthouse, and a work program for jailed Icelanders!  The community is amazingly open to economic innovation!

Of course, Iceland as a country is very ecological with electricity produced by hydro- and geothermal- power.  Sólheimar’s hot water wells provide their heating (and in the future may provide their electricity as well) – in fact they trade hot water for cold with a neighbor.  Otherwise they would have to use energy to cool their water down for drinking, bathing, etc.!

I found the geology of Iceland fascinating.  The island was formed by volcanic eruptions and lies on the ridge between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.  Therefore they have those volcanic eruptions every 4-5 years, and thousands of earthquakes (mostly, but not all, small) each year.   80% of Iceland is uninhabitable, much of it glaciers and volcanoes, but the landscape was beautiful in an otherworldly way.  There are waterfalls, geysers, thermal pools, mountains, black volcanic sand beaches, amazing lava formations, and wide-open spaces to see and enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Marty Hunt

Photo courtesy of Marty Hunt

I was warmly welcomed and would encourage others to visit Iceland.  And, yes, I did see the Northern Lights.  I missed the spectacular ones on March 17th, but on two evenings of my stay the sky moved with swirls and ribbons forming and reforming – moments to be treasured!

A Poem

Wind and weatherCrocus
They blow the trees, they make your mind
Do crazy things.
Sometimes they blow so hard it
Blows you over and the grayness plays on your
Moods that you don’t know where you stand out among
The crowd the
Sunshine does everything differently.

By Brooke Hogan

A Film Crew in the Village

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On Tuesday April 9th and Wednesday April 10th we welcomed filmmaker Chris White and his film crew to the Village. Footage was taken of the Village to be used for multiple short videos. These short videos will be used in a variety of different ways and will be available throughout our website.

Everyone in the Village was excited to welcome the film crew, be interviewed, and demonstrate our work. Ernesto gave the film crew an excellent tour of the Village in the back of the John Deere trailer, Tom showed the film crew how he loaded and dumped wood, Vera showed them how to milk a cow, and many more people stood up to give short interviews.

The film crew’s days were filled with visiting almost all of our workshops, interviewing people, and exploring our beautiful Village. On Tuesday evening the film crew was welcomed at the Village Forum and Wednesday witnessed the early morning milking.

The film crews had a fun and productive two days in the Village and were sorry to say goodbye. Monday April 15th the film crew will be back to get some more footage of the Village. After Monday we will all have to wait in anticipation for the first video.

Keep checking back with us for when the video comes online!

Bill and Monica playing for the camera

Bill and Monica playing for the camera

Vera talking to the film crew about milking our cows

Vera talking to the film crew about milking our cows

Ted Sickels being interviewed at Sunny Valley Barn

Ted Sickels being interviewed at Sunny Valley Barn

Tom explaining what he is doing to the camera - he was a natural!

Tom explaining what he is doing to the camera – he was a natural!

Clara demonstrating to the film crew how to prepare candle wicks for dipping

Clara demonstrating to the film crew how to prepare candle wicks for dipping

A Coworker from Colorado

Young coworker Jessica Heilbrunn, photo by Ted Sickels

Young coworker Jessica Heilbrunn, photo by Ted Sickels

In August 2012 Jessica Heilbrunn joined the Village as a short-term coworker. Jessica comes to the village from Boulder, Colorado and was introduced to the village through her high school, Shining Mountain Waldorf School. As part of her senior year Jessica came to volunteer at the Village for three weeks. Jessica had a wonderful experience and decided that she wanted to spend her gap year as a young coworker in the Village.

Here is a short interview with Jessica about life as a young coworker in the Village:

Q: Where do you live in the Village?
JH: Since coming to the village I have lived in three houses, Rock Maple, Arbutus, and now I live in Orchard House and am attached to Capella.

Q: What have you enjoyed about one of the houses that you have lived in?
JH: I really enjoyed living in Arbutus. It is a team house, so all of the work is really equal, and because of this you have a fuller sense of what is done in the house. In Arbutus we decided everything together and shared all of the work. As coworkers we worked with all of the villagers equally, depending on their needs. Living in Arbutus I felt really at home; it felt like my house because of the equality between everyone.

Every house in the Village is really different. All houses have a different rhythm and atmosphere to them. House life in the Village has a really big impact on you and is a big part of life here.

Farm Crew, photo by Ted Sickels

Farm Crew, photo by Ted Sickels

Q: Where do you work in the Village?
JH: I work on the farm full-time.

Q: What do you enjoy about working on the farm?
JH: I love working with the animals on the farm and being outside and active all day. The farm has a really great crew of coworkers and villagers. We spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun with our work. The farm is on a different schedule from the rest of the Village, which can be really nice.

Q: What do the Villagers bring to life at Camphill Village for you?
JH: When you are living in the Village for one year your views about the villagers are constantly changing. Your approach to the villagers change over time. The longer you stay the more you see and realize that the villagers are the ones in the community who keep the village functioning and moving. We [coworkers] do things that they [villagers] can’t do because they have difficulties with it; we facilitate their work. But they [villagers] are the driving force of everyday life in the village.

Q: What is rewarding about living and working in Camphill Village?
JH: When someone you work or live with does something really well or you see improvement, it is really rewarding. As an example, I lived with someone who doesn’t speak very much and when he communicates more and learns new words it is really exciting and rewarding!

Farm Crew, photo by Ted Sickels

Farm Crew, photo by Ted Sickels

Q: What do you you give to the villagers?
JH: We as coworkers facilitate their work. We are new faces in the community and new people for the villagers to get to know. I think they enjoy this and it is important to have new people with different experiences in the village.

Q: What has been the best part of this experience for you?
JH: The social aspect. It is a small community where you interact with the same people all the time, which can be challenging at times. But there is a great group of other young coworkers and we have become very close; this is really great as we are there for each other. Also, getting to know the villagers has been great. They are amazing people and really fun to work with.

Jessica Heilbrunn hard at work, photo by Ted Sickels

Jessica Heilbrunn hard at work, photo by Ted Sickels

Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at Camphill Village for a year?

JH: While living and working at the Village you need to be very committed, as there will sometimes be difficult times. But, being here is very rewarding. You will make friends in the Village that you will keep and will have memories that stay with you forever. Before coming to the Village you will not understand entirely what it is like until you live here. Come and take it day by day. Be open to surprises. You will like it!

Easter

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On Saturday all of the houses in Camphill Village carefully selected branches outside in celebration of Easter. These branches were brought into each house, carefully suspended from the ceiling, and adorned with beautifully painted eggs. During the weeks before Easter every house was busy blowing out and painting eggs. Now, above every dining room table hangs a branch with exquisitely painted eggs. Take a walk to some of our village houses, visit their dining rooms, and observe these unique art work.

Painted easter eggsHatching
sometimes you can come
upon a clean white wrapping
in a space allowing for brooding
when all the patience is inside you
to create careful and delicate lines
in other words to give it decorations
as you would for every Easter egg
until you have created something
that is quite delicate and fragile
that you must handle with care
in order that it may run freely
in the mind of someone else
-Andrew Hoy

Palm Sunday Cockerel Walk

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On Sunday afternoon the Village gathered together at the New Administration Building Site for the Palm Sunday Cockerel Walk. Children with bread cockerels on sticks adorned with ribbons splashed color into the cold afternoon. Cheerful faces, singing, and spoken verses rang out with the days winter sun.

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

As people gathered, the farmers handed out buckets with biodynamic preparations. Walking along the Camphill Road and Ring Road we sprayed biodynamic preparations onto the earth that had been moved for the installation of the Village’s new water system, giving new life to the ground. Stopping at the Hickory House building site a verse was spoken, songs were sung, and life was breathed into the land that will soon be heavily under construction.

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Continuing our walk along the Ring Road we paused at the Weavery and then meandered up, past the Garden Shed, to the new house at Aspen. Singing as we walked, our procession made its way back to the Village Green Café where hot tea and cake was served for all.

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

Cockerel Walk at Camphill Village, photo by Sabina Curti

 

 

Ongoing Construction!

If you have recently been to the village you will know that there is a lot of construction taking place. Even with the cold weather construction vehicles and construction site activity has carried on. Here is the latest news on the construction projects underway at the village:

New Administration Building – The site area has been cleared and work has started. Concrete has been poured for the new foundations and preparations for the side panels to go up are taking place. With the foundation complete we are anxiously waiting for the next shape of the building to take place. The anticipated completion date is December 2013.

New administration building foundation - photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

New administration building foundation – photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

 

 

Ongoing construction work at the new administration building - photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

Ongoing construction work at the new administration building – photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

New House at Aspen – Walls are up, windows are in, and a roof is on. The house at Aspen has taken shape and is nearing completion. Installation of the sprinkler system, electrical, telephone, and fire alarm wiring is completed, as is most of the plumbing. With the building almost finished we are anticipating its full completion sometime in June 2013.

The New house at Aspen - photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

The New house at Aspen – photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

 

The new house nearing completion - photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

The new house nearing completion – photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

Hickory House – All that is left standing of Hickory House is its foundation. A review of Hickory House recommended that it be demolished. Within the coming months site work will begin on the reconstruction of Hickory House. We are eagerly awaiting the new and improved Hickory House.

The remaining foundation of Hickory House - photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

The remaining foundation of Hickory House – photo by Saskia Smeele Ghirotti

Water Upgrade – Due to the winter weather the project has been put on hold until the worst of the winter has passed. Hopefully work can reconvene in April and with another two months of work our water upgrade will be complete.

Water pipes ready to be laid in the ground in early Spring - photo by Saskia Smeel Ghirotti

Water pipes ready to be laid in the ground in early Spring – photo by Saskia Smeel Ghirotti

Over the coming months some of our construction projects will finish and new ones will begin. Check back regularly for more updates on the construction changes!

Winter Beauty at the Village

Winter is cold, uninviting, and long. But the beauty of winter can been seen everywhere. Familiar roads and paths transform into winter wonderlands. The tracks of a fox, deer, rabbit, chipmunk, or bird can be seen on the untouched snow. Trees are weighed-down by the soft white snow, changing appearances for a short while. At Camphill Village we have seen winter come and go. Cold has given way to warmth, the sound of birds, and the hope that spring and warmer weather will come to stay. But, alas, winter with its cold blusterous fury refuses to leave. Despite the cold, the village transforms into a magical wonderland and we find ourselves admiring a new found beauty. With each new snow covering we discover new pockets of wintry beauty and admire the ever changing landscapes.

Winter view from Sunny Valley Barn, photo by Ted Sickels

Winter view from Sunny Valley Barn, photo by Ted Sickels

Have you visited the village under a blanket of snow? A sparkling coat of frost? What winter beauty did you see?

Frost covered door latch, photo by Ted Sickels

Frost covered door latch, photo by Ted Sickels

Here are some images from the village displaying its wintry glory.

The healing plant garden covered under a glistening coat of snow, photo by Ted Sickels

The healing plant garden covered under a glistening coat of snow, photo by Ted Sickels

Snow covered grasses, photo by Ted Sickels

Snow covered grasses, photo by Ted Sickels

Sun on a cold winter morning, photo by Ted Sickels

Sun on a cold winter morning, photo by Ted Sickels

A Retirement Celebration

Community members packed into the Village Green Café to celebrate and say good-bye to Liz Hamann. Liz, who was a part of the co-worker admissions team, is retiring from Camphill Village after 27 years. Singing, cake, and goodbye-wishes filled the café.

Congratulations and best wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement. You will be missed!

Camphill Village Singers engaging everyone in song

Camphill Village Singers engaging everyone in song

With red hats, the Kaspar Crazy  Choir shared a song

With red hats, the Kaspar Crazy Choir shared a song

Cake was enjoyed by all!

Cake was enjoyed by all!

Serving the cake was an active job

Serving the cake was an active job

A long line waited patiently for their delicious carrot cake

A long line waited patiently for their delicious carrot cake