Monday, 28 July 2008

Resurgence Summer Camp 2008

I have just returned from the Resurgence Summer Camp held at the Green and Away tented conference centre in Worcestershire. I hadn't been before and was a little apprehensive at what I would find. In the end I came back on an emotional high, not an ecstatic or adrenaline filled high, but a deep feeling that I had at last made some deep connections within me that had been yearning to find a home. I could write at length about many things, but perhaps they will evolve into further blogs. Instead I offer a summary of notes from my notebook and a glimpse into some personal experiences.

  • A group of 100 or so people with whom I felt a deep affinity and connectedness with at many different levels

  • A great campsite: vegetarian food, all meals outdoors, wood-burning showers, solar power, compost toilets, camp fire and all intimately surrounded by trees.

  • Although I didn't attend many of the main talks (too much already to think about) I found the workshops on creative writing very inspiring. I would have done the Deep Ecology one but got tied up with a very interesting discussion group on the use of spirituality in daily life

  • Talks by Satish Kumar were very inspiring as was his idea to promote Slow Sunday and to get us all making bread

  • The morning meditations were hugely profound to me. It is ages since I have been in such deep group meditations and these were unique to me. Very holistic, very open and I felt completely free to be who I am. The silent walk down by the river for an hour or so at 6.30 am on a beautiful sunny summer's morning was amazing. I'll write it as a separate blog

  • Spending time in the kitchen cutting boxes of cauliflowers, chopping piles of carrots and cucumbers and making a bucket load of bread was a big highlight

  • Washing all the kitchen pots, pans and utensils after the first evening meal

  • Sitting on my own in a large yurt on a hot summers day surrounded by comfy cushions and just listening to muted sounds of the camp outside

  • Showering out of doors and looking at the campsite around me

  • Swimming in the nearby river on a hot summer afternoon with cows looking on

  • The Sweat Lodge and subsequent mud bath! I had been apprehensive about this but after chatting with someone I went along. It was great, only about 10 of us, but it was well lead and I felt no sort of scary spiritual undertones. It was very dark, very hot and great fun!

  • Wildflower walk: we were all given magnifying glasses and went to see what flowers we could find around the campsite. Everyone found this fascinating.

  • Conversations. I had too many to remember!

  • The meeting on daily spirituality. I was deeply moved by this gathering/sharing when we all stood together to hold hands. Don't know why, but I wanted to cry! Perhaps I was feeling no longer alone and some of the people had walked a path similar to that which I have done (as had others on the camp). We were joined by a butterfly and a baby toad by the way!

  • Walking barefoot for several days

  • Listening to the band Dragonsfly, and the storyteller (pictured)

  • Helen Moore, eco-poet

  • The Grief of the Earth

  • Labyrinths being a form of body meditation and prayer (not that I walked the one there though).

  • An apple tree shows unconditional love: all are welcome to have an apple, humans, birds, wasps and worms etc.

  • Love is not the same as liking.

  • Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it (quote from Mary Oliver, Poet)

  • Teach me

  • Sitting under a tree is a temple

  • Creation is always ongoing

  • Hold a bread making/eating party

  • Make beautiful things - slowly!

  • When God made time, he made plenty of it

  • Why waste finite materials to save infinite time?

  • Art is good art when you use it in your life
And more!

The camp was gift to me to appreciate and unwrap. I could have done much more, listened more, spoken to people more and thought more, but I did what I did and I feel profoundly moved. Thank you to all the people I met, to all who organised it and to the whole of Nature and the Great Creator for being there for us.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Oh, how exciting! I look forward to you sharing more of your experience. How long were you there? Wow, you got to shower in the outdoors...lucky! What sort of things did you learn? Oh, please share!