Spring 2023 Newsletter
New Life and Rebirth
Click Below to Download Full Pdf Version!
Many traditions around the world celebrate this splendid time of new life and rebirth in many forms- Easter, Passover, Ramadan, and the Japanese sakura festival, to name a few. Some of these spring festivals come after a time of cleansing, fasting, and self-sacrifice, when we give-up something in order to make space for something new. In the natural world, this austerity is reflected in the winter season itself, when life quiets and stills, moving deep into the earth where it lies sleeping until now. This cycle of time is also how the earth regenerates itself. Life needs to die, at least in part, in order to be renewed once more.
In this edition, we bring you several features that explore this theme. Sara Norris offers a thoughtful article on discomfort as an approach to creating health and building resilience. Steven Johnson brings us on a nourishing video tour of an evergreen pine grove in early spring, allowing us to experience the special sounds and light qualities created by the grove, and teaching us about the tremendous vitality and regenerative properties of these medicinal trees. We also feature a special approach to elder care at the Fellowship Community in New York state, where elders, youth, and adults live, work and care for each other in ways that embrace the full range of life’s ages and abilities in creative and fulfilling ways. And finally we end with an invitation to explore nature’s artistic gifts in your own backyard and kitchen! Amanda Jacobs shares her family tradition of easter egg decorating with natural dyes and botanical prints. You can apply these tricks on paper and fabrics too!
We hope you enjoy this time of growth and new beginnings and find time to connect with nature, the season, yourselves and loved ones. With warm spring greetings, The FHC Team
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Please consider providing us with your feedback by completing this brief Poll– we would love to have your input to help shape future offerings from FHC!
HELP US TO PROMOTE THIS HEALTH CREATION MOVEMENT! If you like what you see, share it with a friend and consider making a donation! Click below to make a donation to FHC today!
From the CALENDAR OF THE SOUL, by Rudolf Steiner
Translation by Ruth & Hans Pusch
Easter and Spring
When out of world-wide spaces
The sun speaks to the human mind,
And gladness from the depths of soul
Becomes, in seeing, one with light,
Then rising from the sheath of self,
Thoughts soar to distances of space
And dimly bind
The human being to the spirit’s life.
Features of Interest
Experiencing Discomfort: A wellness Approach
by Sara Norris
There is a tongue-in-cheek version of the Hopi’s Emergence story that says what moved the First People through the cavernous darkness of First World were the women complaining to the men about cramped conditions- too many people and not enough space! Every day the women would say, ‘why aren’t you doing something about this, why are we living this way?!’. When the men grew impatient with the questions and complaining, they would dig a path to the next cavern. This time, they would be a little higher up and have a little more space than before (until they didn’t, and then it all began again). This story illustrates a common human dynamic of the balance between comfort and discomfort.
Take a visit to the pine grove at Camphill Copake with Dr. Steven Johnson. Get to know their properties and uses while being in their presence- allowing your soul and body to be restored.
Getting to Know the Pines:
A Late Winter, Early Spring Walk with Steven
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FHC
Health in Action
The Fellowship Community: Exploring Health as a Social Question
A Conversation with members and co-workers of the Fellowship Community (FC)
I wanted to have this conversation for several reasons. I grew up around the Fellowship Community as a teenager and later the founder Paul Scharff was one of my mentors for anthroposophic medicine. Both my parents dedicated themselves as co-workers, teachers and administrators of the FC for over 30 years of their life. My father crossed the threshold there and my mother is a member at 85 years old; still overseeing the weavery and remains active in the cultural life of the community. Over the years, I have witnessed wonderful deeds of humanity and also seen the FC weather difficult challenges. In our current time when “individualism” dominates the social agenda it is a legitimate question to ask: What does the future of community look like? There are so many wonderful stories from the FC which describe the unique capacity of community to impact people’s lives in a beautiful way. In this article we will focus on how the FC impacts Health Creation. I hope some of the examples shared in our conversation will lift your “hearts” and inspire you to re-look at community life in a renewed way for the future, where-ever you are!
-Dr. Steven M. Johnson
Health at Home
The Wonderment of Natural Egg Dyeing
Having just passed across the point of equinox, I now find myself newly arrived in Spring! It is still quite cold in the canyonlands where I live, and it’s been raining for days and days. Still, the brave first plantlings are sprouting, and the amorous birds seem pleased by the strengthening daylight.
One of our families’ favorite rites of Spring is dyeing eggs. There are so many fun egg-dyeing ideas out there, and we’ve tried a good number of them, but we always return to making our own dyes from kitchen scraps and spices. Not only do the eggs turn out beautiful, but we also get to experience the transformation of the ingredients, even before using the dyes to transform the eggs from white to brilliantly-hued.
This year we decided to keep the effort relatively simple by selecting just four dyes to work with: yellow onion peels, red cabbage, paprika and turmeric. There are other options, such as blueberries, tea, coffee, beets, spinach. A little creativity and perhaps some online research could yield numerous possibilities. The recipes we used are provided on the last page of this feature.