As the title of this particular Dancing Rabbit update might suggest, I sometimes struggle with falling behind the curve of work and expectations. This has been such a week (month?) and consequently I’m finding I need to let go of some of the smaller things and reset my target threshold for what is good enough to call done, and move on to the next task.
Cob here with an abbreviated retelling of the past week, as I am literally a day late in passing this along to our long-suffering and forbearing editorial staff. I’m letting go of putting these tidbits in any sort of chronological order and will simply put them down as they occur to me. I will endeavor to use the correct past, present, and future tenses so that you, dear reader, are not totally lost or stymied.
What I can recall of this past week has been a whirlwind of activities. We hosted our first Ecovillage Experience Weekend, which was essentially a speed-dating version of our multi-week visitor program. It must have gone well because all of the roughly dozen participants rated the experience 5 out of 5 stars and shared so many positive comments that it makes one blush.
Such warm sentiments bring me ease and reassurance that however hard this work might feel at times, it has a positive impact and makes a real difference in the world. I’d say odds are pretty good we’ll offer more of this type of program in the future!
The Milkweed Mercantile also offered a dyeing workshop for a regional group of fibers enthusiasts, who returned for more good meals and fun times sharing their knowledge of spinning, weaving, and working with natural dyes (who knew onion skins provided such a warm glowing color?). In some ways that group felt like a small island of calm whenever I walked past on my way to or from other errands. If such things interest you, consider joining in the fun when they return yet again, October 26 – 28, for anther workshop, Making and Using Natural Dyes. Don’t put it off, or you (like me) might forget about it until the opportunity has passed.
As I write, having just come from another scheduling meeting, this one for the Milkweed Mercantile, I am struck once again by how many people contribute in a seemingly-endless number of ways to all the moving parts that go into holding some of these events, and the upcoming Timber Frame Workshop is no exception. It’s not just about coordinating all the cooks, dishwashers, and instructors. I am amazed at how so many people are involved while wearing different hats, and continually shift among them as we cross our t’s and dot our i’s to make sure that everything will come together smoothly. We all do this to some extent, and I guess I’m feeling super appreciative right now because my own capacity for juggling that many balls at the same time is less than I’d like at the moment. So hooray for many jugglers working under the same big tent!
Speaking of big tents, quite a few folks are heading off to Village Fire shortly to spend several days learning new songs, sharing our familiar songs that might be new to others, and generally having a really, really, good time. I had been interested in going myself, and never quite pulled it together enough to get my own ticket. So I’m grateful that folks here are so enthusiastic about singing that we will be holding our very own Singing Rabbit event here later this summer. There’s still time and space for you to join us and I hope that you do!
It may be that part of my current struggle with staying on top of my existing commitments is that we (and I) keep adding new ones. It seems like a season of new things in general. In addition to the stuff I’ve already talked about, the Milkweed Mercantile will be serving breakfast (Alline’s locally-famous biscuits and gravy) and lunch on Dog & Gun (aka Rutledge Flea Market) Saturdays, and lunch on public tour Saturdays (2nd and 4th of the month) at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. That translates into more cook shifts, dishes needing to be washed, and hours spent doing things we value and enjoy, with no corresponding increase in the actual number of hours in any given day or week.
Myself and others also put a fair amount of time into some interpersonal work and conversation this week to try to restore some lost connection and trust with one another. I went into that conversation with some level of resentment about how it was “taking time away” from other commitments, but in the end I’m glad I participated, because the connections we have with each other are what bring real meaning and depth to life. So, a hard time but well spent.
Personally I keep waiting for that day when I sort it all out and somehow magically determine how to “do it all” without scrambling or getting out of breath. I do manage to work in some deliberate down-time on occasion, most recently on Memorial Day when I got to watch our amazing Scotland County Tigers marching band participate in the national parade in Washington, DC. Moments like that, or sitting out on the porch swing at dawn with my coffee, while watching the hummingbirds make their rounds of the garden, are treasured islands of calm and gratitude.
Meanwhile, I figure I just need to be OK with occasionally showing up a day late or a dollar short, and not lose hold of my compassion for myself and others in like circumstances. Stay kind, people.
Come visit us this year to learn practical ways that you can incorporate radical sustainability in your own life! Check out the three Sustainable Living Visitor Program sessions and multiple workshops happening between now and October—which will you choose?