Lifeways 2016: Turning Points
written by Sue Peat
The picture of a signpost on the brochure offered a choice – Tenerife to our left, or Lifeways up the hill to the right.......
Some dashed up the hill with gay abandon, as they’ve done for years, with children, tents and friends in tow. Some pondered for a think at the signpost, made a few enquiries, then tentatively booked, not quite knowing what they were in for. Others found Lifeways was full when they finally enquired, and hopefully that was a signpost towards something else waiting for them!
Having made it to Emerson College there were the usual happy welcomes from the staff, the Lifeways team, and of course it was great to meet new friends. We all settled into our accommodation and began contemplating the week ahead. We had in our hands a programme that Ann Druitt, who died in January, had carefully and lovingly prepared for us, in the full knowledge that she would be watching over us from the spiritual world. Her ‘sheltering power’ gathered from many years of caring for the being that is Lifeways was there for each of us and anyone who paused a minute to sense it. It was certainly a ‘turning point’ for Lifeways, brought to a high point in the celebration of Ann’s Life that we enjoyed on the Tuesday evening with many friends and family. We heard from her husband Roger what a turning point discovering anthroposophy was, and how important Emerson College and Lifeways have been in the many turns she subsequently took. With her life on earth now complete we saw what a rich and productive one it was, and during every minute of Lifeways we were benefiting from it.
Lifeways is carefully organised to offer something for all – from the lovely peaceful, quiet environment of the yurt if you are very little, to a choice of challenging and life changing workshops for adults. If you are lucky enough to be in the right age range then there is the thrill of camping out for the first time under the stars, building shelters, cooking your own food on a fire and learning to live for a week without your phone, ipod, computer and parents. All quite a challenge, maybe most of all for the parents! The adult workshops offered a great choice, ranging from exploring turning points in relationships, life and work to working with crafts and exploring turning points in a practical way.
At the Lifeways ‘harvest’ on the last morning we all came together to share what we had done together and what we had learned. And what a harvest it was this year! With Emerson’s hall filled to the brim with music, colour, craft work and people of all ages and many nationalities we certainly experienced answers to the question posed by Ann in the programme: “Travelling the road we become accustomed to the landscape on either hand. At a turning however, new vistas begin to open up, refreshing our gaze and stimulating our onward step. Yet turning points on our own Life Path may sometimes be shrouded in mists of uncertainty, even trepidation. What could it be that helps us to clear the view and approach life’s turning points with positivity and joy in the expectation of a new stretch of Life?” Having turned a corner this year we look forward to the next Lifeways, and if you have a feeling that maybe you’d like to experience what’s on the horizon for you then do come and join in!
This article was written by Sue Peat, a member of the Lifeways carrying group, and first appeared in the September 2016 edition of The Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain newsletter. Photos by Michael Lovemore.