I have travelled for most of my life and have always found that within the feeling of freedom that leaving the home to gives me, comes a certain amount of restriction in being independent and having to rely completely on myself. Coming to Solheimar in Iceland I found myself entering an environment that is completely foreign to me, not because i’m in a different country, but because I am a part of a community. The people of Solheimar do a lot together, but the thing that has made the largest impact on me so far is the morning circle. Every morning that I wake up in the village I lace up my boots and walk out the door into the ice cold air. When I reach the theater/gym/community gathering place, the greetings are so warm that it makes me forget about the ice cold outside. At 8:55 am we join hands and breath together, centering as one. When the clock strikes 9 a bell rings in the distance and we greet each other into the morning in unison. Without missing a beat a young man begins the meeting. I don’t speak icelandic but I understand three things that are said every morning: “____ and ___ are going to school in sulfos today ”, “today’s lunch is ________ and salad bar” and “Does anyone else have any announcements?”.
At my first morning meeting one man told me that if he misses a meeting he is lost for the entire day. A sense of belonging is a human need. Human interaction is what reminds us that we are alive and this gathering is like getting a healthy daily dose of that human necessity. It is natural for people to come together in circles, all equal. As a kid I had “circle time” and I honestly am not sure what the purpose was because I spent most of that time giggling with my friends and feeding off of the energy of so many children all together. The Solheimar gathering feels the same; although it serves a very useful purpose, it is also a time to come together and start the morning off as a group, feeding off of each other’s energy. I think that this concept is something that I really need in my life because I often have trouble starting my day. I am alone in my head, worried about my self and the things that I need to do and completely lacking the perspective that I have here. At the end of the morning meeting when the group rejoins hands to sing a closing song I think that what they are really saying is “we are in this together and we are blessed to be” and I feel blessed to be able to be a part of it.