As we prepared to head eastward towards Dornach in September, we could not get past the fact that we had almost made our way to Michael Roboz, Yiana, and Vancouver earlier in July during the first leg of our Have Seeds journey. We were bothered greatly to think that we would not be able to find a way to get to Vancouver before Dornach.
We finally decided to make a big loop to meet our friends, traveling through Sacramento to Vancouver before heading east to Dornach. We realized we could get to Vancouver in the afternoon and then leave early the next morning. A dispy du! and tickets in hand, we were happy to share with Michael that indeed we were committed to being able to sit with him and his beloved community in Vancouver! Michael was the initiator for all of our meetings that took place throughout the visit. So happy we were, wondering, “Wow, how did that happen?!”Anthroposophia!
Pulling into North Vancouver on the ferry was incredible, sitting in the boat watching as the land came into view little by little. Dottie had met Michael online in a group formed regarding the 2011 Constitution question in Dornach, and they share a Hungarian heritage in their history as well. Waiting for Michael was a little interesting, as we realized neither of us had seen a photo of him! What we had always seen as his Facebook photos were flowers, bees, and agriculture— a great love and study of Michael’s. We were a bit perplexed as to whom to expect. A white station wagon pulled up, and a beautiful, smiling man, full of promise in his step, jumped out ready to grab all our belongings and heave ho them into the back. Oh, how beautiful it was to see and meet him finally! There was instant friendship and an invitation to walk along the lake before heading out to Monica Gold’s, who offered to host us for the day and a half visit.
Michael is a man of promise with a love for the works of Rudolf Steiner. He also is the keeper of the history, so to speak, of how Anthroposophy came to be in Vancouver. The son of Steven Roboz, he was born into the anthroposophical movement. Michael’s father seemed to us larger than life as we heard of his journeys as a young man in the mines of West Africa, drilling for diamonds, and how he himself came to Anthroposophy. Michael shared that when Steven met his first wife, there was a choice of going to see a movie or a lecture and she chose the lecture by Walter Johannes Stein. Hooked immediately, he made sure that whenever W. J. Stein was in town, he attended all lectures. The Roboz home was a revolving door for the many friends of Rudolf Steiner’s work, and a close friendship formed between Steven and W. J. Stein. What many were not aware of is that W. J. Stein developed remedies in his home for his friends and also shared them with others when there was a circumstance that seemed to necessitate just what he himself was developing. Henry Barnes showed himself again in our traveling connections as the one who sponsored Steven into the School of Spiritual Science. After the divorce from his first wife, Steven continued his devotion to Anthroposophy, married Michael’s mother, and began forming study groups, helping to found a Waldorf School in Vancouver and hosting the festivals of the year.
Michael shared that, at one point, he decided that he may not want to continue this journey with Anthroposophy, which was really for him a decision to make it his own versus being something he was born into. After having crossed that bridge, he found himself in Spring Valley with a keen interest in biodynamic farming. Michael studied biochemistry and has also pursued interests in insects, environmental studies, and weather histories, and volunteers at many community events.
We heard so much about Michael’s father that by the time we got to some of the questions about what he himself is doing in the world, it was time to go to Monica’s and get our housing arranged before we met with the Wednesday study group later on as planned. Walking upon the beach allowed us to sense into this most humble, peaceful, inquisitive researcher into the works of Rudolf Steiner and others. Michael has his hand in many different study groups, helps to hold the form of the Society in Vancouver in that he is willing and able to bear whatever responsibility needs to be taken and does so with a glad, steadfast heart. He takes care of his father, Steven, who is now well into his nineties, and also cares for a garden. He has begun a study of insects and plants with a colleague, and we are hoping that the next time we are in Vancouver we shall have time to visit and see what is taking place.
Michael shared with us an essay written by John Bach, entitled “A Biodynamic Understanding of the Decline of the Honeybee based on Indications Given by Rudolf Steiner.” This work places before the reader the suggestion that the solution to the ever-intensifying modern crisis of the honeybee has already been with us for almost a century, arising from an anthroposophical understanding of the world. Bach compares this opportunity to save the fate of the honeybee to the picture of social renewal that Rudolf Steiner strove to bring forth from the ashes of the First World War! Through Anthroposophy we can understand the spiritual nature of the honeybee as a true creature of love. Indeed, the future of such a creature is intricately woven with our own.
We are deeply thankful for Michael’s welcoming us into Vancouver, and the importance he placed on this meeting is now more understandable since having had the deep pleasure of meeting the friends of this work who live in this geographical area. Indeed, there is something so life-affirming, work-affirming, service-affirming in this place that we both look forward to how we can collaborate with what is taking place in the future. A Threefold society, we felt, after having spent only half a day with these friends, has a real chance to come forth here!