A lot has happened in the past two months and because of some decisions that I made events have shifted the direction of my life. And I must say in reflection I am very pleased with the way things have turned out. Instead of going back to school for the Spring semester I am working on an organic farm. But the place is so much more than that. It is part of what is know as the Camphill community and the farm I work on is called Kimberton Hills. On this farm they practice biodynamic farming as well as organic and their beliefs our founded in the philosophy and practices of a man named Rudulf Stiener. This community believes in the spiritual nature of man and that Christ was the perfect represententative of what man could/should look like.
They also take care of adults with disabilities, right now I am living in a house with four other coworkers and five villagers. The name "villager" is what is given to the adults with disabilities. So far, I am really being immersed in what it truly means to be patient. Patience, because I have to wait so often while the villagers gets up or gets dressed. This act of waiting has taught me so much. I have taken for granted how easy it is for me to go about the things that I would consider so simple. I wake up and can be ready to go in ten minutes, but the villager I help wake up in the morning takes a minimum of half an hour. Then their are the other villagers in my house too. One is fully blind and the other a female is confined to a wheel chair.
They both are so happy and content with such simple things. The blind man, named Herb, is so happy just to talk to me and wax on about sports. His world exists in books on tape and the radio. So the only time he can receive information is when someone gives it to him.
Then there is Eleanor, she in confined to a wheel chair because she has Parkinson's disease. She loves talking. I mean loves it, as soon as she wakes up she will talk your ear off if you gave her the chance. She is constantly asking others what they are up to or just telling you what she is about to do. Which is extremely limited. Her activities consist of singing with the choir that comes to our house on Mondays, going to work in the weavery on Monday and Friday mornings, and going to the weekly church service on Sunday mornings, sadly that is about it. Yet she is still so happy to simply have a conversation about what she is going to do even if she has already told you five times that she will be going to the weavery on Monday morning.
Seeing their lives has helped me to realize some things. One is that I need to be way more grateful for the simple things that I can do like reading, or surfing the web. I am so fortunate that I can find out anything that I want to know, but they both have to ask it from some one else. I just (and anyone else who reads this) need to be so much more grateful for everything that we have.
Then there is the fact that they basically live their lives through others. I used to think that that was shameful. That I would never want to have to be the one who has to rely on somebody else to care for me and I think that I have actually said that I would rather die than have to live in a wheelchair. How foolish? What a blessing life truly is and even more so that lived with a close connection to others! And I feel privileged that I am able to help others experience a life that they most likely wouldn't be able to do on their own. It really makes me feel like thats what we are put here (on earth) for, for each other.