On Sunday afternoon we all gathered for a group photo on the Field of Dreams, to create a current snapshot of our community past and present. This was followed by the burying of the time capsule, a project initiated by long-term community member Caroline Shaw, to record our rich history. Filled with memoirs and memorabilia of the last five decades, it now waits to be discovered by the next generation in twenty-five years time.
A standing stone marks the location, carefully chosen after much community consultation. A hole had been dug along the lei line from the Universal Hall, in preparation for the ritual. The time capsule was lowered carefully into the ground and Dorothy Maclean threw the first handful of dirt on top. Members of the Caddy family helped fill the hole with many willing helpers of all ages.
Kajedo Wanderer, who smoothly co-ordinated the endeavour, offered a few words to bless our birthday, to bless the next fifty years and to connect with the spirit of nature all around us. The original spade of Peter Caddy, won in the Friday night auction, was presented to Park Garden and the team are now the honoured custodians of the tool that dug the very foundations of our community.
Peter had left in 1979 and there was a short overlap between his departure and Kajedo’s arrival. The use of the spade during the ritual of the afternoon seemed to symbolise the passing of responsibility from one generation to another that has ensured the strength and wisdom of the community today.
The essence of this community is to bring heaven down to earth, to learn to do everything with love.
We made our way to the Hall for completion of the week and explored the question, what are we taking out into the world from this time together? People spoke of the special power that is anchored here and the joy of celebration that has nourished us heart and soul. “All who live here are blessed to be immersed in this field of human interaction,” said George Catlin. “Others need to create their network of loving support as part of their survival kit.”
The world looks to us for innovation and inspiration. Isn’t it great that we all keep showing up, to immerse ourselves in the intensity of this great experiment called Findhorn? Dorothy shared words to remind us of the founding principle, the perennial truth that is at our very core, “Put God first, all the rest will come. That’s all we need to do.”
Was the calm energy ever-present throughout the week an expression of our shared understanding? One person spoke about her dedication to spiritual practice. “God has touched my soul so deeply, I can no longer call myself a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Jew.”
Mutual appreciation was expressed on many occasions and there was a tangible respect between those who were the first to come and those who continue to be drawn here today. Eric ‘Cluny’ Franciscus joked about his middle name and spoke fondly of his relationship with the Angel of Cluny Hill. “The building looks in fantastic shape, I’m proud of you,” he said to the current Cluny family.
Past focalisers of the various departments were invited to share their insights and Alice Weibull offered a gift from the past, “The importance of intuitive action.” This is a place that has the power to transform, where people put spirit into action. It has become a source of inspiration for many and a modern myth, yet one deeply grounded in practical skills.
Some are drawn to stay, others move out into the world to share their experience. “I learnt every single aspect of human nature here,” said Angela Morton. “The educational work I do now is the same as the work in the Foundation, the same principles, just a different arena. People are people.”
I remembered the words of Eileen Caddy, “The essence of this community is to bring heaven down to earth, to learn to do everything with love.” If we take just these words out into the world from our week together, if we can see the light within each other, what a ripple effect that will be…
We left the hall to join the lantern parade that had journeyed from the top of the runway to the Field of Dreams and witnessed an incredible fire and light event called Lighting the Way, to launch the next fifty years in a blaze of creativity.
Lesley Downie, along with her incredible team of helpers, including Charmaine Ferris, Ian Turnbull and many others, worked away all day every day throughout the birthday week to create amazing lanterns, puppets and fire-pictures that created such a memorable finale to the birthday week.
Handmade lanterns illuminated by the candles within were carried aloft, as if floating in the night sky. Children young and old marvelled at the different shapes, a feast for the eyes brightening the darkness. Star and planet lanterns symbolised the vast and intelligent universe. Flower lanterns shaped like snowdrops expressed the beauty all around.
And then in the distance a looming giant moved towards us, the great god Pan, 12 feet tall, encouraging us in his silent yet powerful presence to deepen ourconnection to the earth and all life forms, to honour and give thanks for our physical bodies. I sensed movement on the other side of the field teasing my attention away and a shy unicorn appeared tentatively, stepped back, then approached once again, shimmering in silver. What did her presence mean? Love is our deepest nature and the essence of all creation.
We sang a prayer of stillness, co-creation and love, and watched three large and fiery butterflies dance in the darkness, moved by performers hidden in the shadows, each one representing the guiding principles of our community. Lesley had created an absolute labour of love, deep with meaning, a stage far greater than I had imagined and there was still yet more to come.
Gliding gracefully through the night the giant bird, bringing love, magic and miracles from the conference of this name that birthed it, became a phoenix, to receive and honour the gifts of the past and through the fires of transformation, create new light for the future. Each magical creature filled us with wonder and delight, a fairytale come alive from the picture books of childhood.
The three butterflies, embodying the energy of the three founders, lit the giant Angel of Findhorn with their flames. She created a huge heart with her outstretched wings, the shapes created by rope woven through a wire mesh held in a wooden frame, and this was the stunning backdrop to the whole event.
The fires of transformation, the gifts from Eileen, Peter and Dorothy, lit the path into the future. With flames burning and embers flickering the angel shone over us. May love and guidance be the way.