A Bounty of Growth (and a Blast from the Past): A Dancing Rabbit Update

Due to a severe lack of rocks where it's from, a blobby, inter-dimensional creature named Ostrich-tron comes but once a year to exchange sweet treats (apricots, chocolate, raisins, chow mein noodles...) for particularly beautiful rocks of our world! Photo by Nik

Due to a severe lack of rocks where it’s from, a blobby, inter-dimensional creature named Ostrich-tron comes but once a year to exchange sweet treats (apricots, chocolate, raisins, chow mein noodles…) for particularly beautiful rocks of our world! Photo by Nik

Happy Spring, Everybunny!

Welcome to the abundance of rain, chickweed, and shiitake mushrooms! The peepers are chorusing and the dandelions are flowering. Around town, outdoor work is picking up momentum as the gardens and warrens are tended to in between showers. It was lovely to walk through the village this week and see all of the gardens that were getting some love from my smiling neighbors.

Katherine here this week with a few DR snapshots for you.

Construction has really picked up over around Mirth Lodge where Thomas has seemingly put up a two story building in only a matter of days. The new shop that will be home to wood working tools (and toys) has actually been growing around the warren for many years while preparing its rise to glory. As timbers were split, chiseled, notched, and pegged, the gizmo dwelling grew until one day it was just “there”, a great tower of elm, locust, walnut, hickory, and about any other wood that hands could be laid on.

Growth is all around which means that we are once again preparing for our annual population bloom of Visitor Season. Cubbies are being cleaned out in the common house and tent platforms repaired around the land for the many folks that will travel to NEMO to try a little slice of our life. Our slice includes a 1-3 week stay at the village, with various workshops provided to give a more comprehensive perspective of our going-ons. Alternative energy and construction pair with inner sustainability and communication for just a tiny taste of how our community thrives.

The buzzing of the village is so alive and the anticipation of the future has me reflecting on the past. So many wonderful people have graced our land with their presence in the last 18 years and it is fun to look back at their pictures, words, and memories. Here is a blast from the past that reminds me that no matter the changing cast, something intrinsically good in our home has remained the same.

“This is Nicole, writing about 2005’s first full week of spring! Lots of new beginnings and premier events…

Ironweed reports that they have moved the first of their seedlings into cold frames. Folks have started to garden in earnest, inciting run-ins with some pesky plants and critters that I associate with the warmer seasons. Yesterday I was working in my newly-named Taco Glocken Garten, and I saw my first tick of the year. While Tamar was transplanting raspberries a few days ago, she dug an innocuous-looking twig out of the ground, and later, after her face turned into a scary, puffy red mask, realized that it was poison ivy. Frank Russell, the grandfather of one of her fiddle students, came to the rescue with some jewelweed tea he had in his freezer. Tamar is eternally grateful.

Speaking of violins, and music in general, Laura, Tamar, Jacque and I have begun working on a quartet that I picked up earlier this winter. Laura and Tamar are playing violin, Jacque is playing flute, and I’m on cello. Our first few runs through sounded like an infernal dirge, but once we picked up the tempo a bit, the parts started coming together. I am optimistic about our future prospects.

Easter was an exciting day for us. Due to a series of events that had transpired over the past few weeks, many of us suspected that we would not be receiving a visit from the Easter Bunny. Earlier this year, Mr. Bunny called us to express his delight at our decision to name our community after him. He was so glad that someone had finally recognized him as a real artist: “Everyone always says ‘Ooo, look, it’s the Easter Bunny. Hippity Hoppity!’ But I’m not hopping! I’m dancing!”

It just so happened that he was planning to relocate his egg-painting operations, and rural Missouri seemed like the perfect low-profile sort of place, of course there were other locales in the running, and everything had to be very hush-hush, but he had to admit that we were at the top of his list…on and on he went until whoever it was who answered the phone interrupted and said that, to the best of her knowledge, Dancing Rabbit was not named after the Easter Bunny. Our relationship with Mr. Bunny deteriorated rapidly.

So, when Easter morning rolled around, none dared to hope that there would be treats for the denizens of DR. Laura and I were sitting forlornly on the porch swing when Laura gasped and said, “Could it be?!?” In the distant mists, we spied a strange blob making a mournful keening sound, like a lost whale. It wandered closer, and Laura said, “It is! It’s Ostrich-tron! My Polish grandmother told me about Ostrich-tron, but I never believed her!”

As it bobbed and weaved slowly to and fro, Ostrich-tron kept dropping rocks on the ground. I thought that maybe it was making those sad noises because it kept losing its rocks, so I picked one up and gave it back, and in return, Ostrich-tron gave me a chocolate egg and some chow mein noodles! We helped Ostrich-tron collect its rocks, and after giving us lots of treats, it drifted away. We waved goodbye, a little sad that our new friend was leaving us so soon, but hopeful that Ostrich-tron would visit us again next Easter.”

I am happy to report that the portal from the Tron-world has indeed opened (to my knowledge) every year since. This year’s exchange proved lucrative for all parties as Ostrich-tron bestowed raisins, carrots, and what can only be described as “giddy chirps”, on expectant rock patrons. It is good to see that even in the Tron-universe, plastic bags and twist ties may be reused for giving away goodies.

Reading back through our collective community memory, I feel secure in seeing so many similarities to today’s existence. Gardens and weeds will remain a constant as our traditions live on through folks who may never really know of their origins. Like the fruit trees that prosper only to die back with blight, so does our population ebb and flow through the seasons and years; people come and share with us a new song that may remain in our circles long after they have moved on to the next village of their journey.

Every choice that an individual makes affects the whole of the organism we know as Earth. If you would like to know why we are making the choices that we are, please come for a visit, stop by for a Saturday tour, or inquire upon your curiosities with the myriad of media forms known in the interwebs. Smoke signals or tweets, someone around here can answer your question, or if not, at least punt it to another Rabbit who can. I may not know too much about the twitter and the facies* but I sure can chat you up on the path or reply to a nice snail mail inquiry.

Until next time, thanks for keeping up with us and may your Spring Bring a Bounty of Growth!

*Editor’s note: We think she means selfies.

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Want to learn great stuff at Dancing Rabbit? Our second Permaculture Design Course (PDC) at DR is happening Sept 17-25! We’re teaming up with Midwest Permaculture again, and will cover the full PDC curriculum, with creative and practical techniques for designing abundant food, water, energy and housing systems, plus more in-depth info on what it takes to create authentic and long-lasting community. Find out more on our Workshops and Events page!

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If you like Dancing Rabbit and want to support our work, consider joining @ClimateRide this year and enjoy a life-changing 4-5 day journey, while raising funds for your favorite non-profit and making a difference for the future. Learn more and register here!

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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.

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