This has been a week of hard play, hard work, fun work, challenging work, and finally some rain (which lessened the workload considerably). Christina, here, bringing news of what’s been happening in this corner of NeMo.
In my past life, I often heard people use the expression “work hard, play hard.” What I imagined when I heard that was someone who worked 50 or 60 hours at a corporate job all week, and then became a weekend warrior, running up mountains or playing hours of tennis with the same amount of intensity that they maintained all week at their jobs. Work was what paid the bills, and play was what you did to have fun and spend some of that money.
Here, of course, as they always are, things are different. We do work hard, and we do play hard, but sometimes the play is more difficult than the work, or the work is more fun, or the work doesn’t actually make any money but seems more important than the kind that does.
This has been a week of lots of play and lots of work, all of it exhausting and fulfilling.
One reason there’s been an especial amount of play this week is because it’s been a week of many, many birthdays. I helped celebrate some of those birthdays by participating in the Try Tri-Communities Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. Trish from Sandhill organized four teams to play each other in a two-day tournament, on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. There were cheers, trombones, drums, swims in the pond, and a great deal of running after a plastic disc. It was lots of fun, but also lots of work and sort of wiped me out for a few days.
If I were to calculate how much I make working in the garden or milking the goats, it would probably come out to less than two dollars an hour. Still, I happily worked away at those jobs this week—moving the goats to a new especially poison ivy-ish pasture and milking a few nights a week. In the garden, I weeded and planted yet another bed, and harvested more greens, radishes, and beets for daily meals. I watered at night, until we got a much needed series of thunderstorms.
Then there’s the work that has no monetary value whatsoever, but is also super important here. I am now on three committees here at DR, one of which is the Conflict Resolution Team. In the outside world, conflict is often seen as something to avoid at all costs, or to move through as quickly and painlessly as possible. As with many other things, we do it differently here. In fact, Hassan enjoys calling the Conflict Resolution Team the “Conflict Celebration Team”.
On Friday afternoon the committee hosted a much-awaited three-hour—I’m not sure “meeting” is the right word… gathering? process?—about the cat restriction part of the Pet Policy. I haven’t been here for the entire history of this, but I do know that it involves a lot of hurt feelings, and, ultimately, gets to the question of why we are living here. Hassan took willing-if-not-all-eager participants through some connecting and some conflict-full exercises to try to go a little deeper with the issue. It was an exhausting three hours for sure, but it also brought some stuff out into the open, and is the kind of work that needs to get done every so often.
Friday night was time for another birthday celebration—this one in the form of a dance party in Casa. It was still hot, but the playlist created by Baigz from Sandhill, including two original electronic tunes of his own (with Matt from Red Earth on one of them), kept us moving until the fireflies came out. It was nice to not think about cats or watering the garden or any other kind of work for a little while.
Yet another birthday celebration happened on Saturday afternoon, when Nathan held an appreciation circle for his birthday. What happens at these appreciation circles is that people come together to say what they like or enjoy or are grateful for about each other (not just the birthday person). It’s a pretty great way to celebrate a birthday, but it can also be work. When you receive an appreciation, you’re supposed to just say “thank you”. This means no self-deprecating jokes, no deflection to give credit to someone else, which is not always easy but is always wonderful.
Saturday night was time for a play (see what I did there?). It was a big night out for our family as we went with a bunch of other tri-community folks to see Cob, Ewan, and Duncan perform in the Memphis Community Theater’s production of Oklahoma! After a long week of hard play and fun work, I was pretty tired, but I really appreciated the work that went into the production, and loved watching the cast give their all.
Then we drove home, watching the distant lightning and fireflies whiz by.
And then I had to get up early to work at this challenging, fulfilling, and unpaid job of writing an update about what happened this week at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Now that it’s done, I hope you enjoyed it!
Want to come see how we work and play? Find out more about our Sustainable Living Visitor Program here. Or to really focus on the “work”, you can take a workshop with us. Check out all the programs happening at Dancing Rabbit by clicking here!
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and nonprofit outside Rutledge, in northeast Missouri, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. Find out more about us by visiting our website, reading our blog, or emailing us (dancingrabbiticorg) .