70 year old Auriol proves everyone can make a difference!
Auriol de Smidt woke up in her whisky barrel house at the Findhorn Foundation community on her 70th birthday, and realised that she had yet to fulfill her lifetime ambition to go on a pilgrimage. She decided on a journey of 100 miles from Spey Bay to the summit of Ben Nevis, highest point in Britain, and she called it Fresh Look at the Future. She is asking for public sponsorship to raise money for the self-funded Moray Steiner School which offers an holistic and creative education in the Moray town of Forres; and for Wester Lawrenceton Farm, an organic farm producing award-winning cheeses.
Auriol said, “I want to show that we can think globally and act locally – that it is these small local initiatives that show us a new way to go forward. They DO make a difference. And we can make a difference by supporting them.”
On July 8 she began her 12 day walk accompanied by 11 year old grandson Rafael, with support pony Cara, for five days and then continued on to the last section of the journey with daughter Angela, walking on average 10 to 12 miles a day. A torn calf muscle along the way, bandaged by a doctor in Grantown-on-Spey, turned out to be a gift, slowing her progress down to a meditative pace and giving her more time to be in touch with the magic of nature around her. The highlight of her experience, Auriol admits, was spending a wet and midge-ridden, but otherwise idyllic night with her daughter under tarpaulin, in a beautiful pine wood before the Corrieyairack Pass, near Laggan, peacefully at one with the elements.
Already deeply moved by pledges of almost £1,500 from local people, Auriol is happy to receive any support towards these two ‘fresh look’ causes which will help heal our planet. She can be contacted at The Park, Findhorn, Forres IV36 3TZ and all cheques should be made payable to ‘Fresh Look at the Future’.
The theme of strengthening local economies as a way of solving many global issues, can be further explored at the upcoming Findhorn Easter conference: No Place Like Home – Localisation in Action 19-26 April, 2003.