April is for Fools: A Dancing Rabbit Update

April is for Fools: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Raised as a mainline Protestant in the Presbyterian tradition, I find Holy Week to be a deeply contemplative and yet joyous time. With a wealth of sacred music to accompany the progression from Tenebrae to Easter morning, from the encroaching darkness to the shining resurrection, it’s an emotional roller coaster for me, ending with a deep gratitude for the return of spring and the reawakening of the earth.

Cob here, feeling somewhat foolish writing this as yet another round of snow and cold seemingly contradict this notion of warmth, light, and renewal. Much like Easter falling on April Fools Day this year, along with several inches of that white stuff. Undeterred, many Rabbits redoubled their efforts on preparing garden beds and nurturing seedlings on window sills throughout the village.

The famous line “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread” was first written by Alexander Pope in his 1711 poem “An Essay on Criticism,” alluding to inexperienced or rash people attempting things that more experienced people avoid. Unfortunately this now idiomatic phrase has come to be more of an epithet, dismissing any such fools as irredeemable and stupid.

You may also be familiar with the apocryphal story of how technically bumblebees are too heavy and lack the necessary wing lift for flight, yet they do fly because they don’t know they can’t. Inexperienced or rash “fools” often create breakthroughs where conventional wisdom has already decided something is impossible.

Foolish Scilla, blooming in the cold. Photo by Cob.

So here we are at Dancing Rabbit, steadily working away for our dream of a sustainable future for all; one seedling at a time. Of course, we have plenty of other micro-accomplishments to celebrate along the way. This week also saw Kurt’s [redacted] birthday, which coincided with a showstopping game of cards for the birthday boy. Committees met and made progress, or at least took notes, and I successfully postponed completing my personal tax return for another week.

The Village Council is enjoying a brief respite as the next few weekly meetings are dedicated to full-group discussions led by our long-term planning committee. The delayed onset of spring is its own blessing in disguise, allowing folks to finish up other work before the biological imperatives of the garden (and weeds) take over. I personally welcomed Graham, my first work exchanger of the season, and spent a few hours interviewing several other applicants for later in the season. Noble fools, all.

Speaking of noble fools, Ryan had his residency interview this past week, as a few earlier interviewees had their residencies approved. Alannah and Catherine (Cat) will both be arriving mid-summer and getting settled in, even as they’re jumping into the village’s work of hosting a wide array of workshops, events, and programs. If nothing else, as a licensed massage therapist, Cat will have her hands full!

In all the hubbub of gearing up for the first visitor session, and increased business at the Milkweed Mercantile, Alline and I foolishly both placed orders for supplies, so we now have more anchovies and pepperoni than we rightly know what to do with… We’re hoping y’all order extra the next time you’re out this way for pizza.

If you’re a fool for yoga, the upcoming Milkweed Mercantile’s Yoga Retreat features 14 classes over three days for everyone from beginners to experts. If mushrooms are more your thing, you could join the Shiitake Log workshop on April 28th and go home with enough inoculated logs to keep you in mushrooms for years. Finally, if you’re a fool for your mother (and really, who isn’t?) bring the family out for a Mother’s Day Brunch on May 13th. Details on these and more at www.milkweedmercantile.com.

The first visitors are arriving as I write this column. They will have the unusual opportunity to get a taste of Midwestern winter, just before third spring and mud season arrive. Perhaps not an entirely foolish move for folks considering joining us on the prairie for the long-term. Their enthusiasm certainly helps me keep my native optimism burning.

This fool will therefore be out in the garden this week, as well as writing to our elected representatives to work for what is right rather than what is politically expedient, talking with folks seeking a new paradigm for living within our means and with each other, and building for the future, whatever storms may come. I invite you to join me.


There are many ways to join us! Check out the awesome workshops and events being offered this year, or come visit us during one of our Sustainable Living Visitor Program sessions!

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