Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

camphill memory

bridgetmartha's picture

the first morning I worked with michael, we were on the dairy farm raking leaves. at dinner the night before, I remember that he was so excited to rake--I'd asked him about what type of work he did on the dairy farm and for the rest of the night he kept telling me how he hoped that we'd be raking. and I think it was a really great morning and a really lovely experience. working with him doing something he absolutely loved gave me a new attitude--even though I wasn't exactly over the moon to be raking (it's a regular chore for me to begin with, so it wasn't like I was doing something new like working in the weavery or pottery studio), it was easy to have fun when he was so invovled. part of the reason why it was so memorable is because it was so relaxed, fun, and comfortable. he's not super chatty, so I feel like being out their pretty much summed up the relationship we formed--going around, doing our thing, occasionally stopping to chat. he was so in his zone, doing something he liked and was good at and that gave him a strong sense of purpose (unlike some of the other chores we did). it was comfortable for me, too, since I felt less pressure to try to talk to him a lot; at other points during the trip I found myself feeling rather strange because we were supposed to be making conversation but he didn't really want to chat. additionally, he wasn't being overseen by any coworkers, so I didn't have to talk to any coworkers either beyond the few occasions when I was in the vicinity and they asked me questions about our group.

being there felt like the most natural setting out of all of the ones we were in during our time there (natural being organic and low-pressure but also nature-y I guess--it was a beautiful morning, and a stellar day to be outside (and great for my concussion)). I was able to spend time with michael that was quality in our own way and relax a little by being outside, connecting with him in the manner that suited us best and learning more about him as a person not through conversation but through actual physical presence. it was also a small break to get away from the noise and movement elsewhere at camphill, be away from the rest of our 360 world, take a break from the emotional work of the 360 and being surrounded by people I either saw all the time or had never seen before (both of which got to be exhausting for me), and be relieved of many of the pressures I felt during the course of our trip. I have lots of memories, fond and not-so-fond, of our trip, but I think this is one of my favorites. it's not a specific event or moment in time, and it wasn't life changing, and it didn't have any sort of great realization. it was just a very relaxed time, and a time of truly shadowing michael by seeing him in his "natural habitat," so to speak, a time when I really felt connected both to the camphill life and to him.