The Beginning (Part 3)

Dec 31, 11 The Beginning (Part 3)

I move into Foglia Verde (Green Leaf) which is the “welcoming house” for New Lifers when they first arrive. I will be here for five days before I move into a nucleo.

I imagine that this stone farmhouse is centuries old. It’s got three stories and voluminous rooms. Salamandra (one of the original members of Damanhur) shows me my room on the top floor. Only one other person is staying in this building at the moment. Otherwise if feels like a place for ghosts. It’s not very close to anything, such as the Damanhur center or the nucleo where I will be having my meals. Since I don’t have a car or cell phone, I have no idea how I will get to these places and back.

So the theme for the moment is Letting go. Of expectations. Of trying to control events. Of trying to get a reliable answer to anything. Letting go of the logistics of getting from one place to the next. Of trying to understand people and what they are saying (in Italian or English). Letting go of worry. Letting go of whatever emotion…positive and negative…is flowing though me at the moment (for whatever it is, believe me, it will change soon enough).

Over my five days at Foglia Verde, I notice the results of this practice. No matter what, things always work out. The rides appear. Sometimes someone picks me up from the dinner nucleo. Sometimes I ride with Sara, who’s staying here and has a car. Or with Hans, who has just moved in. Synchronicity is something I read about in books and maybe experience on rare occasions. But here in Damanhur, it’s a way of life. You’re actually living in the “field,” with an entire community that operates on synchronicity. Or Italian chaos, depending on your mood at the time.

Gardens and art encourage reflectionBy the end of my stay in Foglia Verde I know the area well enough to walk from place to place (it’s not that far after all). I walk to Atena, the nucleo in the tiny village of Baldissero where I have my meals, and from there to Damjl. Getting back and forth from Damjl to Crea (about a two kilometers distance apart) is where the synchronic rides come in. I wait at the gate on either end and, sooner than later, a car leaving the parking lot picks me up. More often than not, I find an opportunity for an interesting conversation with the driver (or an opportunity to practice my stumbling Italian). Quite a few people do speak some English, though. And there are always other New Lifers wandering around wherever I go.

by Ann Marie Molnar naiade3@gmail.com

Click here to read Part 2   *   Click here to read Part 4

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