Sweden in January

Sweden in January? You’ve got to be kidding, right?

No! I really did go to Sweden in January. The national conference of Swedish Waldorf teachers took place January 24 and 25, and I was asked to give one of the two keynote talks, and to run a series of 3 workshops. The topic for all the presentations was the esoteric background of Waldorf education. The title of the conference was: Spirituality and Waldorf Education. About 300 teachers attended the conference, which took place at the Kulturhuset in Järna, about 50 kilometers from Stockholm.

A snowstorm in Europe delayed both legs of my trip to Sweden, but the fresh snow and sub-freezing weather made for a landscape of stark beauty. Every twig sparkled in the pale sunshine. The drawn-out dawn gave way to sun rise around 9:30am; the lengthy dusk began when the sun set around 3:30pm. When the gauge in the car showed minus 18 degrees Celsius (zero degrees Fahrenheit, that’s 32 degrees below freezing) my hostess allowed as to how, “Now it’s cold.” Luckily, there was not a breath stirring outside the entire time I was there, and enough warmth was generated by the interior heating systems, and the friendliness of the people, that I enjoyed a snug coziness throughout.

Järna has a thriving Waldorf school, and a working anthroposophical clinic. But by all accounts, it is not the bustling center of anthroposophical centers it once was. In its heyday, in the 70’s and 80’s, many other anthroposophical endeavors were situated there, including teacher training, eurythmy school, biodynamic farm and mill, and the many Camphill style facilities for people in need of special care. Remnants of these initiatives remain, but on a scaled back basis.

After only a few days back in the Bay Area, where the birds and the blossoms are announcing spring, and you can step outside without bundling up, the broad, frozen, white horizons of my recent trip already seem mythical.

The flyer for this Conference can be viewed by following this link:

http://www.antroposofi.nu/fileadmin/dokument/ped_sek/Fa__rdigt_program_SWLM_2013.pdf

Dorit Winter

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