Last Friday 23/04/10, I returned to Brockwood Park where I had studied from 1988 to 1992. My name is Duncan McKenzie and on this visit I brought my wife, Deepa from Tamil Nadu, South India and our nearly two year old daughter Chandni for their first visit outside of India where we live.
We live at Solitude farm, a six acre farming community in the international township of Auroville, South India where I have been living for the last seventeen years, since I left Brockwood.
Coming back to Brockwood has been a wonderful experience, the magnificient trees, the serenity and distinct peace in the atmosphere gave me a wonderful sense of expansion.
I have paid a number of visits over the years, the last being two years ago when I came to do a music workshop with my band, Emergence, while touring in the UK. On this visit I could feel that many good things had been going on at the school. I had a chance to give a presentation about my farm www.solitudefarm.blogspot.com and my band, www.emergence.in in the West Wing with about 22 people, resulting in at least three people who said they would come and visit this year, continuing the growing relationship between Auroville and Brockwood. I also had the chance to teach a few guitar classes in Jazz theory, sitting in the studio where 20 years before I had formed my first band and played my first songs!
Deepa wanted to cook for the school one evening and prepared puri, a deep fried chapathi, for about a hundred people and what with the already delicious food we were certainly well fed. Catching up with my old teachers, Colin, Bill, Steve, Wendy and Claudia was very sweet, I wonder if they could ever have imagined meeting me 20 years later with a family? I think there were pleasant memories for all of us, they certainly were, for me, some of the sweetest I have.
I had a few interesting talks with Bill about the new students living spaces and was very inspired to hear that they intended to allow students to join in with the construction. These types of idea, I feel, keep Brockwood at the forefront of true alternative education, especially in this day and age where education has been reduced to a mainly cerebral activity. I was also happy to find the garden in such good hands, as I had done a fair amount of work there myself many years ago. Again, I had an interesting talk with Yannick and Fazila about how the garden could be integrated in a deeper way in the daily life of everyone in the school, which, fitting into Brockwood’s high ecological ethics and a threatening world food crises presented many ideas to me which I hope to share with the school very soon.
When I returned home I mentioned on my facebook page about my visit and various friends replied, that, indeed we were truly blessed to have been students at Brockwood.
If you’d like to know more about Krishna and his farm and band please check out: http://www.emergence.in/newsletter.html
Duncan McKenzie, former student