“I remember how excited I was the day I arrived at Heartbeet. How I’d seen the Heartbeet video so many times I had it memorized. Yet, as we winded up the road towards Heartbeet my eyes drinking in the generously green hills of Vermont, I really had no idea of the adventure that lay before me, the depths of the relationships I would form, the unexpected twists and turns my life would take, and the growth within myself I would have to confront here.
I knew it would be a journey, but I had no idea the depths to which it would take me into myself and those around me.
It was here that I found a sense of belonging-that was born of discovering a way of life that aligned with so much of who I want to be.“ - Ashley Davies, US (July 2012-August 2014)
By Marlene Kofink and Johannes Bastek (Germany)
After finishing school and internships we decided to take the first step together and go to Heartbeet. As a couple we lived in White Pine House, the smaller household, and built a great team with Rachel, Parker and Ann. We learned what it meant to keep a household; cooking, cleaning, gardening and especially caring for the other members.
Both of us loved to extend our creative skills–whether it was in the felting studio, knitting dream catchers, or carving wooden bowls, Heartbeet provided time, space and inspiration.
To engage and live in this healthy surrounding and beautiful landscape in the middle of nature filled us with joy and thankfulness. Behind the daily activities everybody is doing there is so much meaning and sense, it felt so good to be a needed part of the whole.
To meet community life and to live in an alternative lifestyle was so empowering. It gave us strength, hope and trust in thefuture. Everything that we learned, all the experiences we had and all the skills we gained, gave us a foundation for our dream to build a common home and family together.
How to Volunteer
I remember my first day at Heartbeet, October 8, 2006. It was last day of the conference. I was welcomed with great love. Everyone in conference was interested in me, I saw many beautiful faces, and I had nice talks. I’d never had this kind of attention. I knew only little about Heartbeet, but I was really excited to be here, but on the other hand I was afraid. I was afraid having a different culture and I was afraid whether or not I would be able to survive in anthroposophical community, being Muslim.
The first couple month it was hard for me to settle down in Heartbeet. I was not used to eat vegetarian food and pork (a meat that I was not asked to eat but it was hard because I love meat); it was one of the differences between our cultures. Life was different.
Things about Heartbeet that stood out immediately was the way in which other volunteers made room to incorporate me into their community. Heartbeet gave me a new, beautiful world, and people who dedicate their time and life here showed me a new way of life. It was the residents, however, who I feel I learned the most from. They showed me hope. It’s the simple pleasures of life that provide me with the most valuable lessons. The early morning conversation with Connor over breakfast, watching Eric show off his basketball moves and being surrounded by a warm environment that is always full of songs. This is not to say that community life is idyllic, it is struggle to bring a household of more than 13 together to accomplish a day’s tasks. It is in these daily struggles that the most obvious benefits of community life come to light. The experience of the loving community that surrounds me each day at Heartbeet will surely color my future.