The Flights of Findhorn Fledglings

A gift of this 50th birthday year continues to be the Foundations of Findhorn evenings. This time has been set aside to welcome present members to gather in the Universal Hall to give witness to the people and events that have built and shaped the Findhorn Community. The most recent session opened up the space for the first children of the community, now vibrant adults, to share their personal insights into what it meant to grow up as the community itself was evolving.

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Ruby learnt to roller-skate on the foundations of the Universal Hall. She arrived in 1970 at 18 months old and remembers a community of about 40 people, endless tea parties, children at lunch but not at dinner, a time when the adults dressed up, a host of babysitters and grown up friends. “I have always had my kin with me!” she says. “Thank you Findhorn, for hosting my childhood!”

Pauline arrived aged 15 in 1973 and says, “Findhorn provided me with an incredible education. I met some powerful personalities like ROC, Sir George Trevelyan and David Spangler. It was like living in two worlds – the community versus the local school.” What struck her most and stays with her is the tangible sense of love when a community chooses to work together.

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A young Michael

Michael was born in Findhorn in 1976. When he left for the States aged 7, he remembers getting into trouble for hugging and kissing people. He returned as a young adult and has now been here for 10 years. He remembers his father shouting at a cabbage moth for eating his cabbages – talk about communicating with the intelligence of nature! He had a colourful non-cohesive sense of style, living in hand-me-down clothes and says, “I was raised by a community and this gave me such freedom of expression.”

Zoe was born into the community in 1978. Now pregnant with her second child she laughs and says, “Findhorn children are now having children.” Suddenly I am aware of the magnitude of the 50 years of history that these first children represent. She shares with us how privileged she feels to have been brought up in Findhorn. “When I think of my childhood I get a sense of joy and freedom, as a child I had a feeling of ownership of the whole community.” Zoe recalls a sense of spontaneity when on a rare sunny day a community holiday was declared and everyone walked to the beach to have a picnic. She would roam around and join in the various activities in the Park. On one occasion she collected all the pennies in the well hoping to boost her finances and later mournfully returned them having been told that they were the dreams and wishes of people. “I grew up surrounded by the demonstration of generosity and goodwill of the people in this community.”

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A young Zoe (left) with pal Barney and Pauline

Shirley arrived with her family in 1980 for an Experience Week and remembers, “Falling in love with this crazy place, swinging for hours, watching the comings and goings of people.” She considers herself a member of the Youth Project Generation and had access to many adventures abroad to Botswana, Canada and Russia on Youth Exchange Programmes and annual trips to the Isle of Erraid. “It was hard work campaigning, creating shows and holding functions but the journey to raise the money to get there pulled the youth together. Growing up in Findhorn helped me develop the ability to adapt to and chat with anyone!”

Gabrielle was born here in 1980 and living on the edge of the pine forest the woods were her playground. She was one of the first intake of pupils at the Steiner School. Gabrielle remembers the first ten years of her life as being surrounded by fun, interactive adults who included her in their activities. Mealtimes were her only structure and a poignant memory is making castles out of hay bales.

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Findhorn youth in front of their new YP building

But all was not rosy. Findhorn children lived on the edge of the community. They were the ones who had to enter into the local schools and were often the brunt of the hostility that was then directed towards the Foundation. Jonathan Caddy arrived here in 1962 as a six year old and recalls being called a Findhorn Fairy by his peers. “We came from a different culture and became labelled through prejudice. It was a challenge to work within this field but it helped create within me a sense of personal integrity.”

I was drawn to attend this evening because I know many of these Findhorn children. Not only do I value their friendships, I have also been constantly delighted by their childhood stories and surprised by the depth of their insight and breadth of their awareness. I have discovered in them a quiet confidence, a warmth and compassion that they attribute to their connection with Findhorn.

Lisa Sutherland

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