I have arrived in Germany! I am currently at the ecovillage Sieben Linden, where I will be working for two weeks. The community is a model of sustainability. They are working hard to create viable sustainable social, environmental and agricultural systems. The community members have the opportunity to live in 'neighborhoods', small community groups within the larger community that live in large homes together. These neighborhoods have distinct cultures and values. In coming together they decide how they want to live, make agreements, and create their home based on their needs. Each new house is an evolution from the last, looking towards the most environmentally sustainable building possible. One home has a spiral design--- only the central room is heated and the heat radiates to the rest of the house.
One of the neighborhoods, Club 99, is known for being very ecological. They built their main community house without any machinery, using materials that come from the land and recycled waste. Their home took five years to build, as they split each beam and log by hand saw. It is a wooden frame with straw bale walls and is truly a piece of art. This house is used for communal activities only, and members live in other homes. Their second building project was a straw bale home, and for this they decided to use machinery as the members began to work in other areas. They work with horses, to pull wood and plow the garden.
I am part of the 'international experience week', a week long service opportunity and introduction to the community. My group is cleaning up the construction zone of the newest neighborhood. Yesterday we planted a hedge on the property border, transplanting native bushes from their winter nursery. Today we are busy moving a wood pile, deconstructing and re-building the wood shed in a new location.
My time at Findhorn ended strong, with a beautiful week on the Island retreat of Erraid and a way of Council Training back at the park.
The Isle of Erraid is a small island of granite in Western Scotland. It is an elemental place, exposed to the winds, tides and rain. This was our last week together before we separated for our independent study time, and we took the opportunity to be on retreat together, meditating and meeting daily to process our journey thus far and prepare for the time ahead.
I just finished a 'Nature of Council' for Findhornians, working with Will as an intern and support for Gigi. The training was wonderful, integrating experiences in nature and the practice of deep listening and speaking from the heart. It was a great learning experience, continually pushing me to my edge. Feeling full of gratitude for opportunities to grow, I am so thankful for the opportunities for continual learning. I love finding myself in truly uncomfortable situations, realizing I chose to bring myself fully into the practice of stretching my limits, stretching beyond boundaries.