A refugee from suburbia with the attendant work commute, play-date scheduling for kids, and the challenges of finding compatible times to hang out with friends, I found respite in community at Dancing Rabbit over a decade ago…and have hardly ever looked back. I was looking to retire from a professional career in association management in order to focus more on spending time with my family and gardening (in a pseudo-homesteading fashion), but quickly realized that physical labor is…well…physical labor, and instead I now spend more time on the computer than originally envisioned.
Over time I have served in many administrative and other committee roles at Dancing Rabbit, as the administrator for the Land Trust, on the executive committee of our municipal cooperative, as a manager of the shared vehicle fleet, and a term on the Village Council. I am currently on the Board of the local Milkweed Mercantile Cooperative, where I cook, tend bar, and manage the bookkeeping. I also run a small local (nearly zero waste) grocery store at DR, much like the health food section of your local supermarket, offering bulk purchasing and self-serve options.
I particularly enjoy working with visitors and new residents to explain how our different legal organizations and governing documents mesh with one another, the flow of our group finances and budgets, and to help new folks accurately assess their cost of living when they move to the ecovillage. I often lead workshops during visitor programs, and enjoy cooking for large groups and generally talking about the joys and challenges of living in community.
These challenges are real. Decolonizing my thought processes and assumptions, broadening my awareness of other ways of being and knowing in the world, acknowledging my privilege in a white patriarchal society (speaking broadly about the US), seeking genuine consensus in decision making, have all required different perspectives and tools than I learned in my years prior to moving to Dancing Rabbit. I credit this community and its alternative ways of resolving conflict for helping me navigate separation and divorce, while supporting us both in maintaining strong healthy relationships with our children and each other. However frustrated or annoyed I get with different conversations or situations, a short trip away is all that I need to remember how much better this is than what I knew before.