This is the time of year for reflection: How was 2017? Did I accomplish all that I hoped to this year? What goals do I have for the coming year? How can I improve in 2018? Each year, like clockwork, these questions arise from within me and help me continue to strive for more meaning, peace, and connection in my life.
Melany here, writing while bundled up in many layers, very different from the last time you heard from me. The unseasonably warm 60 degree days have turned into the harsh reality of -15 degrees, or -30 when accounting for the wind chill. The cold numbs my fingers and toes, freezes just about anything left anywhere, and brings us all closer to our respective fires and each other.
The winter is usually a slow time here at Dancing Rabbit, while many people travel to see their families or take vacations that seem impossible to fit in from April-October, our typical visitor season. We do manage to find ways to keep busy, though, with a Christmas Eve dessert potluck hosted by Cob and a Christmas morning potluck brunch at the Milkweed Mercantile. Another well-attended event just the other day was a lively dance party at Skyhouse for New Year’s Eve. And of course, there is the sledding, snow angels, and taking advantage of all these frozen ponds with hockey and broomball. Thank goodness for the snow, I say! If it has to be cold, there should be snow on the ground to lighten everything up.
There are also indoor events happening these days, too, not related to the holiday season. There is a new writer’s group that meets every week to foster a supportive environment for anyone identifying as a writer (and even those, like me, that can’t yet even call themselves a writer). Although my life is still busy enough that I haven’t managed to go to even a single one of these gatherings, I am still happy to know that it is happening.
And, as always, there is the weekly Tuesday potluck and Friday community dinner. Although these are much smaller these days, it gives the people who are here an opportunity to have some deeper conversations and a more relaxed meal in general. It truly is an amazing time to get to know each other better, talk about our year, and dream about the things we will accomplish in 2018.
For me, as I reflect back on a year unlike any other—filled with joys, triumphs, challenges, disappointments, and setbacks—I find it helpful to focus on the good from this past year. I feel privileged to work for Dancing Rabbit’s nonprofit, where our programs make undeniable, meaningful, life-changing progress towards a more connected, sustainable world. Thousands of people are introduced to our paradigm-shifting educational programs every year, and 2017 was no different. The truth is, though, none of it would be possible without help from our amazing supporters. I want to say THANK YOU. Truly, thanks to all of you who have contributed to our mission in so many ways to make 2017 truly magical. Whether you gave a monetary gift, attended one of our programs, took a Saturday tour, or spread the word about our village and mission, you have made all the difference this year.
So, in this season of celebration, I am grateful for meaningful work, my loving and healthy family, and a supportive community. I hope you, too, find joy and meaning in the coming year.
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 (dancingrabbiticorg) .