Thursday, November 29, 2012

Findhorn's 50th Anniversary Reunion

The Nature Sanctuary
Having lived at the Findhorn Foundation in the 1970's, it was a pleasure to return in November for a week-long reunion with friends I haven't seen in years, and also make some new ones. Findhorn has grown and changed over the years; it's now an eco-village for sustainable living that continues to be inspired by its spiritual roots.
Gathering for a Findhorn Family photo
It was emotionally intense to be reunited so suddenly with so many for such a short period of time. 
Someone said it was like going to heaven without having to die!
Putting rhubarb to bed in Cullerne Gardens
Each morning we worked together in the kitchen, in the gardens, or in the wild areas just like old times. 
Work is Love in Action!
Cutting carrots in the community kitchen while preparing lunch for 210 hungry people
Lesha's Tikki Bar party
In the evenings we attended sharings (skits and musical performances in the Universal Hall), informal gatherings of old friends, or went to bed early, exhausted by jet lag and the excitement of it all!
Entrance to the Universal Hall

Findhorn was founded in 1962 by Peter and Eileen Caddy and their friend Dorothy Maclean of Guelph Ontario (seated left with Peter & Eileen's son Jonathon).

I first met Dorothy in 1975 when we both lived in the San Francisco Bay area. When Ellen and I mention that we where thinking of going Findhorn, she warned us that it wasn't all about communicating with nature spirits; that there was hard work involved; and that sometimes couples' relationships didn't withstand the intensity of the place!

Dorothy and the Caddy children blow out the candles on the 50th Birthday cake

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Early morning on the Graben, one of the city's most famous streets
Last Saturday I spent the day in Vienna en-route to see Heather in Amsterdam and attend the 50th Anniversary Findhorn Reunion in Scotland.
Hofburg Palace, winter home of the Emperor
Vienna was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the grand architecture and statuary reflect its imperial past.

Statue of composer Johann Strauss
 I bought a ticket to the Spanish Riding School's performance of riders and Lipizzaner stallions in the Hofburg Palace.  At 440 years old, it's the oldest riding school in the world!

A visit to Vienna wouldn't be complete without a stop at a traditional Viennese Café, complete with large displays of pastries, small strong cups of coffee and an ample supply newspapers to browse.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pine Siskins

A flock of unusual birds arrived at our backyard feeder a few days ago. Mottled brown with a touch of yellow on their wings, I learned from a Wild Birds Unlimited newsletter that they're called Pine Siskins, a type of finch that usually lives much farther north in the boreal pine forests of Canada.

The siskins monopolized the oil seed feeder all afternoon much to the chagrin of the nuthatches and chickadees who usually have the feeder to themselves!