Two Women of Blue Springs, 1992
Image: © Harsha Prabhu
Living In Community
Our community of around 20 adults and 18 children began in 1977 as a response to having participated in the building of a simple forest retreat and some shared history of living in a meditation centre in India. It has been an experiment in attempting to live out our values of ‘voluntary simplicity’, to foster a sprit of inquiry, to protect the forest and to live lightly on the earth.
For me, contributing to the evolution of our community has been a rich gift, a kind of epic poem. Creating a rainforest garden, liberating rocks, discovering my essential landscape, a sanctuary in my busy world, is a source of joy and nurturance. Being in the magic and silence of the forest allows a time to integrate the demands and intensities of communal life and my work in the broader community.
One of the special aspects of our community life has been the recreation of a village culture where there is freedom and safety for our children to explore the natural world and develop trusting relationships with a range of supportive human beings.
In our increasingly fragmented society the bonding and continuity that we have been able to create for ourselves, the sense of place and mutual protection, is, for me, like a deep anchor to life. It is partly through this sense of privilege and good fortune that I feel drawn to work in the broader community, through the Family Support Service, to develop support networks among families suffering social, economic and cultural disadvantage. This work offers the possibility of developing self-esteem, reducing social isolation and creating a sense of connection and community for children and their parents.
Gai Longmuir, Bodhi Farm