Thursday, July 12, 2007
To meet a kindred spirit
Today's Cuppa: Calming Chamomile
I'm still recovering from what has been, and still is, a busy week! Bethany's having her secondary school induction week at the moment, which she loves, and just had her violin exam too. Bethany couldn't get into the two nearest secondary schools (thank goodness!) as they were full, so she's going to a very small one in Alston, an isolated community at the top of the Pennines in the UK's highest market town. She has 17 in her class which is very unusual for a mainstream secondary school. The school she would have been expected to go to has about 1800 pupils. The one she's at has 200. There is a very strong sense of community and friendship there and from everything I've seen and heard, the staff seek to make the environment as warm and nurturing as possible. Today she's spending the day with her fellow classmates and teachers swimming at a leisure centre so they can all get to know each other better. She's already had offers from new friends to come and visit their house.
We went to Forest Row, East Sussex last weekend to witness the wedding of Richard House, a columnist for The Mother magazine, to Silvie Hetu, an infant massage instructor.
The ceremony was held in the beautiful gardens of Emerson College, an Anthroposophical teacher training college. Although Richard and I had never met in the flesh before, we've always shared a deep passion for the optimal well-being of children, particularly through allowing them to 'wake-up' to this world gently, and in their own time.
Weddings are always a good reminder of all we hold dear in our own marriage. It's particularly moving when the words of a ceremony honour the idea that when we are one with our self, we are then able to fully love and marry another.
At the wedding, and later that night at a party on a biodynamic farm, I met women who read The Mother. It's always humbling to have a personal experience of our readers and to hear their mothering or grandmothering story.
An absolute bonus, and no doubt a divinely inspired orchestration, of Richard's wedding being in Forest Row (even though he lives in Norfolk) was that we got to spend time with the Durdant-Hollamby family [publishers of The Mother magazine] who live there. If ever there was a family to model your own on, this family's the one!
They truly 'walk the talk' and their goal to be the happiest family in the world is contagious and deeply inspiring. I've been telling my friends ever since, that "everyone needs a family like the D-Hs in their life!"
As a family we got to witness the unusually strong 'alternative' community that exists in Forest Row, no doubt initially instigated by the Steiner school and college there. Many families home educate their children.
As I type, the view out my window is one that has nurtured my soul for eight and half years ~ the unspoilt countryside, the hills, the trees. I used to take the silence and fresh air here for granted! Having done the tortuous route of the M6 (stuck on it for 11.5 hours!) and M25 I will never forget how blessed I am to live in this sanctuary of outstanding natural beauty.
I find myself wanting to hang on to this rural and peaceful lifestyle forever and being torn with finding a place which offers kindred spirits and a sense of community like Forest Row does. My children are emerging into the world and have such different needs to me. I'd happily camp at the top of a mountain, hermit-like, for half a century, but I feel it would be wrong to deny my children the experience of duality. I experienced many aspects of life before having children and don’t feel the need to partake of most of it anymore, yet I'm aware that every experience we have in life is valid.
I expect to be a full-time mother for another seven or so years until my little birdies fly the nest, and then my deep desire to live in a log cabin in the wilderness can manifest. Until that time, I welcome with open arms the kindred spirits who also walk this world and seek like-minded soul-mates.