Combining Thanks and Giving: A Dancing Rabbit Update

I sit here bundled against the cold with two dogs at my feet while listening to my toddler laugh as he plays in the bathroom sink. Yes, he has figured out how to move the dog food bin to the counter and climb on it to give himself access to the wettest and “funnest” game ever. I know there will be a bit of cleanup, but for now, I have a few moments to myself and he really is so joyful that it’s hard to see the negative. Melany here, writing during blizzard conditions that seemed impossible just yesterday. Truthfully, I love snow. I grew up in New England and spent my college years in Maine, where snow makes up the better part of the year. In fact, I have found there isn’t quite enough snow in the Midwest for my taste. Well, maybe it’s not about the snow specifically, but that there aren’t enough mountains to downhill ski. I know there are other ways to enjoy the snowy weather. Plenty of Rabbits cross-country ski with enthusiasm, although, to me, it just feels like running while all bundled up. But, there is also sledding a-plenty around here. In fact, days before this latest storm hit, Javi was already planning a sledding party for adults and kids alike to enjoy the brighter side of all this snow.

Ada enjoys many dessert choices at the Milkweed Mercantile (photo by Melany)

Snowy weather tends to get me in the holiday spirit and this storm coincided nicely with Christmas songs hitting the airwaves. Although, at Dancing Rabbit, we are less into the consumerism of the holiday season, we certainly do enjoy the gratitude and connection aspects. For Thanksgiving, the tri-communities (Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Red Earth Farms, and Sandhill Farm) came together for the annual potluck dinner to share both blessings and food. After dinner, the Milkweed Mercantile hosted a dessert potluck featuring goodies such as vegan cherry pie, gluten-free apple crisp, pumpkin cheesecake, and good old-fashioned brownies. Even though I couldn’t imagine even one more bite after my hefty Thanksgiving meal, I managed to sample more than a few of these treats.

Coming together with my friends during the holiday season helps me to focus on the gifts in my life. I am so grateful for my loving and healthy family, my warm home, and my friends that support and inspire me. It feels important to remember the good in the world, although I find that to be difficult at times. When I hear about weather-related tragedies around the world and think about the latest report from the IPCC about how dire the climate situation really is, I can go into a tailspin of fear and despair. I find myself leaning on others during these hard times and I am grateful to be reminded of all the amazing things we are doing at Dancing Rabbit and through the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit that result in real change in the world.

I don’t have to look far to see how we truly can make a difference and influence others to do the same. My friends are teaching others about permaculture principles, organic gardening, natural building, and conflict resolution as well as many other techniques that can change the course our planet is on.

This is a reminder that we need to come together, support each other, and keep fighting the good fight. If anything, the dire state of the world acts as a wake up call to tell us: Now is the time! Tomorrow is too late.

That is why what we are doing here at the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture is so critical. Our paradigm-shifting, sustainability education programs are teaching others how to live lightly on the Earth and help curb the effects of climate change. You can join us in creating the future we all dream of. This holiday season, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, choose to celebrate #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. Today is the day that charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world are coming together to celebrate generosity and to give.

We encourage you to join this tradition of generosity by helping others through the gift of your time, donations, goods, or your voice. Contributing to Dancing Rabbit’s mission is a great place to start! Today, your gift can mean more than ever: we have a generous matching donor who will DOUBLE the first $2,250 in donations. And if you donate via Facebook, PayPal will ALSO match your gift! This could turn $50 into $150, just by joining the #GivingTuesday movement today. Thank you. Your gift makes a difference. Without you, our work would simply not be possible.