It's for the community, I thought to myself as I trudged through the snow at midnight on Wednesday night. I was headed to one of Holden's wood burning furnaces for probably the tenth time that day because I was on stoking duty. Each of us have had a couple days where we are responsible to stoke the fire that heats living spaces and other common areas. We have also been assigned to dish team, where we help clean after meals, and garbology shifts, where we help sort Holden's waste. This is on top of our normal work shifts, which range from manual labor to housekeeping to helping in the kitchen. This is not the schedule only for J-termers; this is part of all staff members' lives because it is part of being in the Holden community.
As my time at Holden progresses, I have been reflecting a lot on the unique community that exists here. Every single person is necessary in making it possible to live here. From the lead chefs in the kitchen, to the people who wake up early to make sure walking paths are safe after a snowfall, to the craft room managers, each role is important and distinct. Without any person, Holden would not be quite the same. I am not sure that I have ever been in a place before where this is the case. I have been a part of many wonderful communities, but there is something special about Holden. Each day that goes by, I recognize more and more how amazing it is that this place operates because everyone is willing to contribute. That is why, when I am stoking the fire or sorting garbage, I remind myself that it's not for me; it's for the community. The past three weeks have truly been a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how I relate to others, how I can serve others, and how I can best participate in a community.