A Life Full of Joy, Hope, and Duty: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Greetings! I don’t know about y’all out there but for me this week was full! Tereza here, with news of duties, food changes, theater, sky-watching, and birthdays, as well as the usual connection, laughter, and warm season busy-ness.

My first (of two) civic duties this week was voting in the state primaries on Tuesday. It’s always fun to fill a car with Rabbits and go see the nice ladies in Rutledge who run the voting station. Rumor has it a bunch of Rabbits went in by bike together earlier in the morning, which was probably fun too. I won’t stray into politics here, but please, make sure you’ll be able to do your duty in November by checking that you’re registered to vote!

My second civic duty meant heading into the county seat town of Memphis on Thursday for jury duty. I’ve only twice been asked about my availability for this service in my 18 years at Dancing Rabbit. The first I was too ill to participate, and the second I was out of the country for a month, so both times I was excused. It was interesting for me to see how the selection process works in a small town, though just like my previous big-city jury duty experience there was a lot of waiting. I got a lot of reading done, plus bonus people-watching and legal-system-pondering. I wasn’t selected for the trial itself, so I was only in town for the morning. I was glad to perform what the judge called my “solemn duty” and I’m curious how long it might be until I get called again.

Javi and his fellow firefighters working hard to keep people safe on the West Coast. Photo by Javi
Javi and his fellow firefighters working hard to keep people safe on the West Coast. Photo by Javi

Thinking about that experience, I admit my first thought is of the cookies and coffee available at the courthouse, which just the week before I would have happily consumed. However, this week, a group of us (Alyx, Danielle, Sara, and I) began a new way of eating that we hope will improve our health. Since it starts by eliminating a lot of foods (including gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, legumes, grains, nightshades, and probably other things I’m not remembering right now), those courthouse cookies and coffee were off limits. Instead I had my tasty detox broth and yummy seed and veggie crackers and tried to not notice how good the coffee smelled.

The first few days were pretty rough, so I’m glad to have companions on this journey. We’ll be reintroducing foods over time to notice the effect they have on our bodies and then decide if we want to keep eating them or not. Based on my truly intense (we’re talking felt-like-I-was-possessed level of intense) sugar cravings this week, I can’t imagine how it’s going to be to have sugar again … I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thursday night, several carloads of us went to the Memphis Community Theater to watch Cob, Ewan, and Amy Carleton (plus other local folks) in a play called Daddy’s Girl. Their performances were very enjoyable, and Amy was hilarious! Until we got our programs, I had no idea that Cob had such a major role! All in all, it was a fun night out.

Ted mentioned last week that one of our newest residents, Cat, is a massage therapist, and I was quite happy to get another massage from her this week, which was just as awesome and needed as the one I had last week. I’m also her liaison (each new resident is designated a longer-term Rabbit who explains how things work at DR, answers questions, and basically helps make integration into the community go as smoothly as possible). Besides her amazing massage skills, Cat is fun, smart, and enthusiastic, and I’m enjoying getting to know her better through this connection.

In other news, Andrea hosted several events for her birthday over the weekend, including a Bloody Mary bar plus biscuits and gravy at the Mercantile, as well as a meteor-watching party. It was dark, so I have no idea how many of us were out in the Ultimate field, watching the sky, and oohing and aahing at the pretty streaks in the sky. Good fun for sure. Turned out it was also intern Natasha’s birthday, so we sang her the Rabbit birthday song just a few hours before she left us to go back to Savannah, then further travels before heading home to Turkmenistan. Happy birthdays!

This week also brought the inaugural gathering of the new “co group”, a space similar to men’s group and women’s circle that is focused on supporting one another’s deep personal work, only this one is intended to always be open to folks of any gender (hence “co”, the gender-neutral pronoun we also often use as a substitute for the word person). Twenty-four cos showed up, which indicates the healthy level of interest in this sort of thing in the tri-communities, and in my not-so-humble opinion, it was an excellent beginning.

Circling back to the concept of duty, I want to share some of a recent update from Rabbit Javi, who is out west fighting some of the numerous wildfires out there. He writes:

“I am hungry all the time, and thirsty too. No matter how much I eat I am always hungry. Today we started at 6 am and finished at 10 pm. I think I’ve worked 285 hours in the past 18 days. My day started at 5 am. I rush to get food and to a briefing at 6 am. That lasted 45 minutes. Then, we all drove to the fire. Another briefing at 9 am and everybody was assigned to a specific task.

“For the next hour I did weather, meetings, radio communications, and then I did the GO, GO, GO. I got supervisors and whole crews listening to my Spanish accent and I was happy; definitely scared, but happy. What we were doing was burning on purpose to stop the fire. Basically, fighting fire with fire.

“I hate being away for so long, but it will be extra awesome to see you all when I come back. I am at a new fire today. It burned 5,000 acres, plus a few more that I burned. We will be here for a few more days. And then, I will most likely go to another one. Adios amigos y amigas.”

I’m super proud of you, Javi! Thanks for doing this tough work!

And finally, also on the theme of duty, this is the last you’ll be hearing from me for a while. I’m stepping out of the column-writing rotation as part of my upcoming “stay-battical” (thanks to Mae for the clever term!) in order to focus on my health. I’ve resigned from my position as Communications Director for the non-profit, gotten off almost all committees, and my Village Council term ends at the end of this month. I’m planning to not take on any new community commitments for an uncertain period. Wish me luck!

Until we meet again, may those who need it receive gentle abundant rain, may our harvests be mighty, any regrets be small, and may peace prevail in our time.

Tereza asked us to put in a plug for Singing Rabbit. She is so excited to sing with the amazing song-leaders coming for this event at Dancing Rabbit, happening Labor Day weekend. She’d love to sing with you, too! Click here for details or to register!


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