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My year in Grangemockler

by Kate Rawson

Some mornings, I rise just before seven and set out for the farm to help with milking. I’m often sleepy on the way there, but on the way back I look around and realize how beautiful this place where I live is. A resident is often carrying a compost bucket back to the house already, and I become inspired to take part in a day of living and working alongside others in the community. The extent of diversity here amazes me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with people with special needs and volunteers from many different corners of the world.

When I arrived, the newness of everything gave me plenty of chances to learn. After some time, I settled in and felt comfortable suggesting outings or activities. Now I work mostly on the farm, often collecting eggs with an enthusiastic resident. She surprises me with knowledge of practically every aspect of pop culture. What could be an ordinary routine often becomes a time when I can laugh or sing without feeling self-conscious at all. Living here certainly encourages me to open up and show others my genuine self.

I appreciate supporting the farm team because of the knowledge that I am assisting the sustenance of the community. Learning about biodynamic farming has been a blessing beyond my expectations. The intention it brings to each task helps maintain focus on what is important, and we make sure to incorporate social respites as well (over tea, of course)!

Challenges are presented daily; responding to someone who is upset, organizing events or timetables, keeping in contact with family and friends from home, and discussing issues brought up in an introductory course are a few examples. Despite the pressure that can result from these struggles, I am grateful for each day. My ability to live and work with people has improved, and I have developed as an individual during my time here. The skills I have acquired will be useful throughout my life.

When I invest more of myself into my experience in Camphill, I am rewarded with heartwarming encounters. Whether it means I am asked by a resident to play another song on the guitar or simply witness a huge smile from a woman who never speaks, the gifts I receive are enormous. I really have an entire community of friends.

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