Julie on Horseback

Hi there, so I am to summarize 33 years in but a few paragraphs, and describe the series of life experiences that have brought me to this juncture. Ok. I was born and raised for the first decade of my life in New Haven, Ct., which is a city with a population over 100,000. My father was a mental health clinician, and my mother worked as a personnel manager at the retail store Macy’s. We were lower middle class, and lived in the smallest house on the street at about 675sf, with a quarter-acre yard yard to play in. That patch of green was magical for me, and from it was born a love of my natural environment. Yearly camping trips with my family were our escape from the reality of living in an urban setting, and those memories have since shaped my adult life. Simple pleasures such as frequent hikes in a local park seemed to test the limits of my personal happiness. I felt alive!

Upon leaving home at the age of 15, I found myself living in a group setting with many other girls my age. In search of meaningful connections with other people, I was desperate to find a family of friends, and a support system that could help me grow, and offer me the understanding and love that I yearned for. Those girls became my family, and I discovered community for the first time in my life. Despite those being difficult years, I loved those girls as though they were my blood, and fell in love with the concept of a supportive community that shared a common bond.

At that age, I still maintained that I wished to spend as much time as possible in the embrace of mother nature, feeling a deep reassurance that was otherwise absent. She was my harbor and my mentor. Awareness was coupled with torment as I learned of the threats posed against my beloved forests and natural areas. Further research over the years regarding industrial argri-businesses, deforestation, energy issues, overpopulation, hyper-consumerism, etc., has led to a desperation in myself to be part of the solution rather than adding to the problem.

From the ages of 24-31 I pursued and completed a Master’s degree in environmental science, specializing in Ecology, Biology, and Chemistry. While in school, I was able to take part in many research projects that resonated with me, such as comparing the home ranges of the eastern box turtle in fragmented vs. unfragmented habitat. I was able to research topics that interested me such as sustainable forestry, and ecotoxicology. Upon graduating, as is common, I felt at a loss for how to contribute in a meaningful way. I felt that I could make enough money, as I had a successful business for many years as a property manager, but continued to feel that fundamental elements of my life were absent. I wanted to live in community, and to share my love of my natural environment with people who could relate to my desire to live in a more sustainable way. I wanted more out of life than what I was getting, and decided that the time had come to brush away the fears of the unknown and pursue what seemed to be missing in my life.

Julie in the Mountains

Coming here to Dancing Rabbit has been magical for me in so many ways. I never dreamed that such a place existed before coming here, and yet here I am. I was a work exchanger for Skyhouse Community as their organic gardener for 6 months before branching out and deciding to rent a house here. I have never felt such profound peace and happiness. Some say that there is no such thing as a geographical cure, well, I beg to differ. When that geographical locale offers so many aspects of living that are in alignment with personal values, and meets so many personal needs, it is precisely the remedy to my afflictions. Sharing fundamental values within a community setting is an ineffably beautiful thing. I look forward to having the biggest garden of my life, rejoicing in raising chickens, and plan to keep bees and potentially goats or sheep here. The pleasures I have found here are simple, which is what I was yearning for in this complicated and crazy world we live in. The people I have found here are intelligent, and have an energy and passion that I have never experienced in such high concentrations before. I am privileged to be a part of the community here, and look forward to spending many more years here to come.