Ironwood Maine Web Update

“With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in the moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

            This week at Ironwood there has been a wide range of group activities including mixed therapy groups, field trips, harvesting the garden, and cooking delicious dinners. In this weekly update I will share with you what our community is working on, news on the final weeks of the garden, the overall energy, and fun on both campuses. As we continue to live life at both Frye and the Farmhouse, we have to make sure that our focus stays on where we are right now in our journeys.

            Last weekend was busy at Ironwood. On Saturday, SATs took place on both Frye and Farmhouse campuses along with the usual weekly deep-clean. The testing took around 5 to 6 hours for many residents and it was a productive day for those residents who came back to do deep-clean as well. At the Farmhouse, after such a long day, we indulged in burritos with crock-pot salsa chicken and beans and rice. On Sunday, the Farmhouse upstairs crew took a field trip to the Rockland Breakwater lighthouse.  The breakwater was fun to walk on and the view was beautiful!  The downstairs crew got to enjoy a relaxing day at the Farmhouse playing music and sports and hanging out with the manager’s adorable dog, Rocket.

            On Monday, the entire Farmhouse joined together for an experiential group lead by therapist Jacki M. In the group, we blindfolded partners and led them through an obstacle course. We then made one person lead the entire Farmhouse crew through the track. It ended up going sideways and turned into a laughing fest and the point of the challenge was lost. When we later discussed the meaning of the activity, we all came to the agreement that it was meant to test our ability to trust our peers. Many were fairly similar in their responses of, “It can be challenging for me to trust people I don’t know that well,” or, “ I just don’t trust anyone,” though some people shared the opinion of, “I trust you until you give me a reason not to.” I believe the reason we were given a challenge like this was to help us build a better connection with people in our larger community that we may not know as well as the people in our own personal groups. For me, the activity was fun since I feel fairly comfortable with everyone at the Farmhouse. However, for others the work was much more challenging. It sure seems to be something that we would all like to continue to work on as we face one another throughout our programs and build a healthier environment each day.

            Though the weather is getting noticeably colder, many crops in the garden are still thriving.  In the past week at the Farmhouse we have been able to harvest large amounts of kale, potatoes, peppers, and a few remaining tomatoes. Since the Farmhouse has so many goodies, we have been sharing with Frye, and Frye has been replenishing us with fresh eggs each day from the chicken coop.

            In both lively communities we work each day to provide a comfortable and safe atmosphere for one another while also having fun. This week both campuses have been working hard on maintaining the garden, barns, and kitchens while also spending quality time with one another. As we continue to do this, we must always practice remembering to stay focused on our present journey and allowing ourselves to not live in the past or future.