Memphis Democrat Column Week of 2/22/10
Aloha All, Nani from Dancing Rabbit. We have had a great week.
Fun and hard work were our themes at Dancing Rabbit this week. Many of us worked hard at having a ton o fun, while others had fun working hard at our annual retreat. Our second week of retreat meetings went very well. We accomplished a great deal of work in a relatively short period of time. We laughed, we cried (I believe there was some onion chopping at some point), and we reached consensus. Having more of our friends back home was a treat as it always is. The saddest update is that the 15-foot snow creation from two weeks ago could not take the heat any longer - during one of our very productive meetings, our snow man (or woman) lost his/her head. The good news is that since the meltdown a double-sided snow being has arisen. Our new sculpture was double sided and very artistically done. And then…it snowed even more and where once there were faces on our snow person, there is fuzziness! The Yeti has come to town.
Nathan being home again has brought back more sledding in our lives. Our kids and big kids have been carving some serious sled snow at Vista De La Moo. Please pardon me if my snow lingo isn’t quite right, but they looked like they were having some serious fun up there. Speaking of fun, it’s been funny listening to stories about cars getting stuck on our crazy roads. It is only funny because everyone involved made out all right. I really enjoy hearing stories about how people get out of their fixes. Those that are able to drive despite the weather are like shiny heroes to me, it’s absolutely amazing to this warm weathered woman that they can get anywhere in the heavy snow. However, even my best and brightest heroes have had to push cars to the side and walk home. We have great friends and neighbors here though, as our roads have been plowed. Yay! Perhaps we'll go to Zimmerman’s cafe tomorrow?
Some highlights of our retreat were a budget in the black, wonderful volunteer childcare and cooks (that are still being raved about), goals (we’ve decided which ones we’ll work on this year), and our very successful Year In Preview. We are a very busy and ambitious group of eco-villagers and getting all the work done or even just planning to can seem overwhelming. When our YIP (Year In Preview) wall was up we were able to see all the spaces (tasks) that needed to be filled. Papa Bear's humor and finesse encouraged us to fill almost all of the crucial spaces and then some. The ability to maneuver a daunting task with grace and success was a recurring theme in those stewarding our retreat this year.
The facilitators at our retreat were remarkable with helping us move along. Those shepherding topics to sort out were also courageous folk and the feeling of gratitude for their direction and work was evident this weekend. Also evident, especially to a newer person like myself, was the dedication to take a good thing (as Dancing Rabbit is) and make it better. Not every topic was easy to digest or agree upon, but we did and did so earnestly, respectfully, and compassionately.
Finally, our last night of retreat was met with great food and conversation. I looked around and it felt lighter in the room. It also felt good. It felt good because we worked hard and were now in repose with one another. We were so relaxed as a matter of fact, that at the end on the night Dave went home wearing two different boots. It’s a great mystery where this other boot is right now, however they are two sizes different (one size 11, one size 13). Suspicions are that Jacob of Sandhill has the big boot. That’s a three-mile walk in the snow, but off he went. Alline and I laughed at this boot fiasco (I suspected Kurt of boot-napping as well, but he appears to be innocent). Really though, it was the final piece of our week that drove home that we are relaxed and are happy to walk in each other's shoes. OK, maybe not literally; please bring back the shoe.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge, Missouri, practicing ecological sustainability. Tours of our village begin again in April. For more information, please see our website at www.dancingrabbit.org.