Anna Wibron from Sweden
Co-worker from September 2007- September 2008
A few years back, 17 years old and just finished school in Sweden, that I would be in a Camphill community in Ireland in the summer of 2008. That I would be cooking lunches for about 16 people two or three days a week, planting rainbow chard in the rain, at the same time as I am trying to keep an eye out for a villager so that she does not pull out theedible stuff instead of the weeds, that I would live in a country with traditions and values quitedifferent from what I am used to, whose unofficial national dish is salt and vinegar chips .
What I have experienced during my time in the community I never would have imagined. That I would experience, not just the ordinary south east Asia backpacking tour, like so many other of my generation.. Little did I know then, how this year would change me and shape my future the way ithas done. Community life is intense. No matter who you ask I am quite sure they will agree. Coming to Camphill for a year as a young co-worker I entered a life totally different from what I was used to, and in doing so also committing myself to work and live according to principles and traditions I might not totally agree with. Having one day off a week where you are free to do your own thing, is very different, and trying to find personal space within the house and in the course of a day, is not the easiest, but somehow you manage.
Life in Camphill is not always easy and fun, and you need to be prepared for challenges. Living in community has showed me that it can be very developing to allow yourself to be challenged. In community you really need to be flexible and willing to engage yourself in the people around you. There is nothing that will work if you just want to go on autopilot. If you heart and head is not with you, you will fail. What has also struck me about community life, is how in moments of crisis or hardship everything works so direct. If there is a problem, it will be solved, here and now, or by means of discussion and planning first, if necessary. And if there is a problematic situation or crisis, there will be a meeting held and people will offer to help, filling in wherever it is needed. I truly admire and love this sense of directness. If the whole world was more like this, if people had an awareness of each others and the greater community’s needs, everything would be so much better. It has been hard at times, really hard. I have wanted to scream and hit something, or just lie down and cry. But I guess my experience has been a real life experience. Good and bad. That I have been able to live through the hard times, seeing what that could teach me, but also reaching the peaks of joy and total light, where everything seems possible.
If someone asked me where home is, I would say that except from where I live now, and where I grew up, the Bridge Community, Main Street, Kilcullen Co. Kildare would be it... Life in Camphill is somehow very honest, it seems to me. Great in its simplicity. And I am very proud to have been a part of it.