Our last, and first, Kinda away weekend, (which in my day was known as Works Outing), was more than two years ago, at Breathing Space, Hickling Broad on the 1st of February 2020, (remember those days, when we’d not yet heard of COVID, while in China….). Here our tribe gathered, the first gathering, to find the broad vision. We’d been established nearly two years (summer 2018 formulated as a CIC and September started Kinda Forest School in Kali woods), Mell guiding us in Forest School pedagogy. Our tribe then were: Mell, our vision holder, Louisa, in charge of our economics, Eloise, creative facilitator who danced brilliantly with Mell, and Kym, a friend of Mell, with two children being home educated and myself as directors. With us came Sue Parr, Lorna and Gina, who were part of our team then. Mell invited Christina to facilitate, the outsider to the tribe, a clear thinker and excellent facilitator.
Here we began to explore the wider Kinda, the vision of expanding into 8 directions: not only Kinda Forest School, but a democratic school, Kinda land, Kinda Elders, Kinda Training etc.
This time, our 2nd gathering, we gathered in a beautiful building in a field in between the Norman church and the Old Rectory, and in between the Evergreen Oaks which were the hotels for hundreds if not thousands of Rooks. We lived in the luxury of underfloor heating, sunshine space, and a bonus of a hot tub.
We opened our circle with a check in, or as Mell introduced: ‘Brushing off the dust of the road’. One had had a ‘shit couple of weeks’, one vulnerable, one almost back in one piece, one roller coaster, one had finished a big project, one was potentially starting a big project. But none was so amazing as M: she’d just heard she was 4 weeks with child! With us and the 4 week child were: Mell, vision holder, Kym, on Admin, Eloise who’d left and now returned on land and Bramfield, Alice, Heidi, Meg, Shona, Jo, Theo, and Po our admin astronaut. Kally and Blake both in Covid isolation, joined us on Zoom, Kally most of the day, which cannot have been easy for her. Lesley almost joined us, but couldn’t at the last minute. Christina, with us 2 years ago, returned to facilitate, a perfect outsider insider, to guide us, watch us, and invite.
We unpicked the question: What is your role as a Kinda Facilitator? I led, in a semi Socratic way, far too fast, but we picked up immediately a language difference in the undertones of the word ‘enable’ to describe facilitator. To some it had too much of the I in it, and was linked to enabling addictions, to others it described the guiding/helping quality of facilitation. The other word we analysed, finally deciding to divide it into two: Role and Purpose. In small groups we attempted to answer the question of role, some very practically, some more philosophically addressing purpose. We were diving into the vision.
Eloise outlined the Bramfield vision, the land, the school, the re-wilding, and the hoops to jump through of planning permission. Each director outlined their area of work. Mell the vision holder, facilitator holder and appraiser; Louisa (who could not be with us) the Health and Safety, and accounts; Kym the admin co-ordinator; myself Kaliwood land, and Fund finder.
After lunch, after a walk to where the corvids gathered and badgers set, we met in the field and made our 8 spoke wheel, Mell calling directions. We all said what was important to include. Ancestors, said Po, the ancestors who informed us, where we are now. The trees and nature and all that we learn above and below the ground I said. Safety and nonsense, said Theo! …..
This was a good precursor to revisit our vision defined 2 years ago, our 8 directions which had become spokes which became parachutes, and were about to return to directions. We could see what we’d done that we said we’d do, what we’d left behind and and with courage say where we’d like to be in 5 years time.
All this hard work necessitated a gin, and some skill exchange. Alice invited me to fly, and later she aided Shona to fly. I resurrected my shoulder massage skills on Christina and she read the I Ching – my first experience. Christina invited me to ask a question, a quandary I needed to decide. That was easy, the field. I turned out the 3 five pence pieces 6 times, with various results – all heads, all tails and various mixes. The first hexagrams was 48 The Well, the second was 11 Peace (Contentment). How did Christina describe the I Ching? It does not tell you what to do, but highlights metaphorical scenarios for you to interpret and apply to your question.
Delicious veg chili, and a crumble, ended with a very very hot tub experience. (fire pixie on fire duty may have been over generous with the wood) Wow the stars, the night sky clear and bright, sirus to the south, Orion rising, Beetlejuice (Betelgeuse) red super giant, red bright, and closer to home the body warmed from the inside out in the hot tub.
Like me you may have thought Sloggi was a knicker company, but it is also a native Indian greeting of directions. Alice guided us in the morning, outside in January sun, Andrew joining us. We (Jo) found the right word: we were doing a Pantra.
Remembering Christina’s words: ‘transforming education, transforming ourselves, transforming other’, fittingly we looked again at our Directions. With Mells direction, we made a new course, what we were doing now, reflecting, merging a previous (intergenerational with community).
NORTH – Opportunity
NORTH EAST – Forest School
EAST – Kinda school
South East – Kinda training
South Kinda – Kinda Land
South West – Kinda Community
West- Kinda Rumi Reflection
West North – Seeds and Kinda Elders
We also looked at Po’s role – she is certainly an enabler but in a different way to facilitator. She enables our Administration (where would we be without her?), she is our first line of email contact. This year she has developed Kinda joining process, introduced us to Bookwhen which works with Quick books, developed a single central record and a training maxtrix. Her second home is Basecamp.
We gathered in our circle for the last time, and gave gratitude for what we’d found this weekend, including Safety and Nonsense! To Alice in particular, her kind and easy generosity sharing this space. I read a poem that said where I was now, Moment by Margaret Attwood (printed at the end). And in a Mexican wave movement we sent blessings to all who could not be here with us: Kally and Blake, Lesley, Maya, Dianne, ….
Only then did we all walk on Benacre beach…
Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses. Don’t wait any longer. Dive in the ocean, leave and let the sea be yours’Rumi, from ‘Say I am you’
THE MOMENT by Margarett Attwood, who turned 82 Jan 2022. Here is a poem she wrote.
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage,
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
Is the same moment the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
Climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.
Some notes of follow up here
- Purpose and Values – need to be agreed by all facilitators
- Directors roles on the web site? (Rachel)
- Bramfield follow up (Eloise/Jo?)
- Business and 5 year plan written up (Po/Rachel
- Diary for Web site – to see all that we are up to (Rachel
- Elders long term funding
- Tshirts with Kinda Logo (Red Bubble) https://www.redbubble.com/
- John Muir
- Kali love day, Event, Po email.
- linking with Partners, Catch 22, Restitute, Pear Tree.
- Outcome measurements for example Leon, Maya, could be audio
- toggi.com for tracking working hours – from Po