After weeks of record-breaking warmth and associated wild weather, the return to more seasonal temperatures has been a relief. While the maples have all bloomed, and the maple sugar season was over before it really started, the colder days have slowed the budding of the fruit trees. Hopefully the delay will hold them long enough that a late frost won’t come along and nip them in flower.
Cob here, wracking my brain to recollect what all happened this past week. I’ve lived here long enough, and have perhaps reached that personal mileage marker, where the routine doesn’t lodge in my memory, or events blur with my memories of prior year shindigs. It’s far easier to look ahead to the coming week, which would be extremely unfair to Ted when he writes the next column, so I shall resist.
One thing that I know for sure happened this past week was a delayed implementation of our annual alternative Valentine’s tradition of presenting a group appreciation for each individual Rabbit, telling them precisely how and why we value having them in our lives. Receiving my “Validation Day” card is certainly a highlight of my year, but the exercise of writing in others cards is also extremely rewarding. I find those moments of reflection on what I appreciate about each and every person in my life here to be soothing and restorative. Petty frustrations melt away, and refocusing on what I value sets a positive framework for our ongoing interactions.
For this year’s Validation card distribution, Bear and I took turns reading aloud from folks’ cards, while the rest of the crowd tried to guess the recipient. It’s especially fun reading what children have written to the multitude of adults in their lives, in an “out-of-the-mouths-of-babes” fashion. By way of example, I was informed that “seeing you grinning is a reminder of happiness!”
We’re also excited to welcome Ben (another Ben, whose nickname is yet to be determined) as he officially begins his residency at Dancing Rabbit. I daresay none are so thrilled as his own family, who arrived months ago, while he stayed behind to get their house ready for market. A few Rabbits visited and helped with painting and minor repairs, to help speed things along, for which we are also thankful.
Along with all these cheerful thoughts, another happy memory has surfaced. This past week also saw a coordinated effort to relieve a friend and neighbor of nearly a dozen dumptruck loads of manure. There are few things that bring an avid gardener such a sense of potential and security as a steaming pile of black earth dropped within easy reach of their vegetable beds!
Speaking of stinky things, it’s always hard when folks we have grown close to and have struggled hand-in-hand with over the years make the decision to move away for one reason or another. This week we wrestled with the realities of Lucas and Brooke’s impending departure, and the many holes they will leave in our web of committees and tasks. That web will be rewoven in time, and folks will step into those voids, but we will still miss our friends. We wish them the best of luck and good fortune.
As for the routine daily and weekly rhythms, things pretty much hummed along as normal. There were dinners, committee meetings, check-ins, and walks out on the land. Working in gardens, repairing minor storm damage or locating things that had blown away, and even some home construction activity. Doggie romps in the meadow, restocking shelves in the grocery store, serving drinks and pizza at the Mercantile. Accounting, taxes, paying bills, planning for workshops and visitor sessions. Playing games, reading books, comparing seed varieties, and planning gardens.
Sharing the work of life, complete with laughter and tears. I guess that’s really what it’s all about, though, isn’t it? The cast changes over time, and the details vary, but I can’t imagine living any other way. We welcome you to stop by and share with us, if and when you’re so moved. Just remember that if you’re coming for pizza or for St. Patrick’s Day dinner this week, Mercantile reservations are strongly recommended!
The first visitor session of the year is only a month away! There are still some spots available, so if you’ve been dilly-dallying on filling out your application, now would be a great time to send it in. Come experience Dancing Rabbit for yourself!
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) .