Memphis Democrat Column Week of 1/18/10
This week at Dancing Rabbit we had weathery things like snow, ice, and slush. Burrrr and a bit o’ yuck. This is my first winter at Dancing Rabbit and it has been a learning experience (and continues to be). We had below zero weather for a few nights in a row. This weather, which I thought had to be uncharacteristic, is evidently how it used to be, "back in the day" (according to the Rutledge Renegades, locals and friends we talk to often at Zimmerman's). I have learned the fine art of chopping wood and keeping a room warm. Tereza, Alyson, and I all shared the joy of frozen pipes; not to fear, we are all well and on track again. The best part has been taking advantage of winter's abundance...of snow. Dave, Jennifer, and I trekked over to a big o hill, affectionately called Vista de la Moo, and sledded on toboggan and flimsy yet fast regular sleds. My first time sledding, it was awesome, I tried to get Thor (Bear's dog) to get on the sled, but he wasn't having it. What we also learned about too many nights of too cold weather may cause the top layer of potatoes to freeze. Sheila was trying to explain to me how the first mushy layer was usable in some way, but I couldn't really imagine it. The good news is that most of Sheila's cellared tates did well, and I'm hoping that one day Sheila will make me breakfast. Dan tried to feed his mushy taters to the chickens, they were not so interested; they are clearly hens with discerning and refined tastes. Whatever helps those yummy eggs to keep 'a coming!
My favorite part of this week was seeing more of our people return home. Ali and Thomas, Sara, Ted, and Aurelia, Ziggy and April. I know it was last week, but Alyssa, Zane, and Bear and Ma'ikwe and Enzio. It always feels good when family returns home, both related and chosen families. So, now it feels like we are all getting back into the swing of things. The common house is livening up again. We all get to socialize together again and get excited about this next year. I hear people talking about projects they want to start...or continue. Gardening is always a big topic. We just started a gardening club and had our first meeting. There was quite a turn out, with experienced gardeners and newbies like myself. It inspires me how much the people in our eco-village care to bring food organically and locally into our lives for ourselves and neighbors. It is inspiring to see sustainability in process.
We all came together for a special party for Sara, who had a medical procedure last Monday. She is doing well now; before she went to the hospital we got everyone together and all wished her well. There was artwork galore and henna tattooing and songs written in her honor. It was not only fun, which is always a welcome thing during January, it was warm and fuzzy.
All in all it's been a good and productive week. People chopping wood, throwing shindigs and dinners, connecting, and some people continue to build – Dave is still putting a floor in the Timberframe extension, even as the temperatures drop. As it seems to be getting warmer, I can feel the spirits rising around here too. I think we all look forward to getting more work done and having more fun together in the common house. I'm from Hawai'i though and perhaps I'm optimistic and naive, it's only just January. I suppose we could be sledding again next week. Either way, I can't wait. It's taken awhile, but I'm finally warming up to this colder weather.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge, Missouri, practicing ecological sustainability. We offer free public tours March through October. For more information, please see our website at http://www.dancingrabbit.org.