Connection and Celebration

Julie here with the happenings here at DR this sunny and hot July week.
Escaping one’s shadow has been the objective here, with the sweltering temperatures reaching up to a heat index of 108 degrees this week. Our cooling pond has been a frequent meeting ground as we all attempt to dodge discomfort in this unrelenting heat wave. It’s a reminder of the importance of everything that we are doing here, and how it is more pertinent than ever to adopt a life-style that is harmonious with the earth’s rhythms rather than discordant with it.

This week a final-cut screening of Within Reach was shown here in La Casa, our dance hall. It is a movie that tracks Resident Mandy Creighton’s and Ryan Mlynarczyk’s journey to find sustainable community across America, on bicycle, bike-packing over 6,500 miles in total! This movie moved me in many ways, but most of all it inspired me to participate more in service to others to work towards a shared future. It beautifully and brilliantly shares the joys and struggles of their journey, and the heart connections they made along the way. We are very excited to note that screenings will be available in many major cities across the U.S., so please go to if you want to sign up, or find out if it is showing near you!

A recent welcome development over the past couple of weeks has been the formation of both men’s and women’s groups here. What is talked about in men’s group is heavily shrouded in mystery, but I’ve no doubt its objective is parallel to our women’s gathering, which is a desire to find meaningful connection through openly relating to one another with a compassionate and nonjudgmental heart. With life being as busy as it is for some of us, listening and speaking with intention is a refreshing shift towards something that I believe will manifest into an evolution of how we relate to not only each other, but to ourselves.

We celebrated the 4th of July with a block party that included 3 grills, and a table full of offerings such as tabbouleh, blackberry cake, watermelon, hummus, and a smattering of other foods too numerous to list. It was lovely to have such a large turnout, with about 50 people attending, with many sitting at picnic benches that were blissfully shaded. The evening ended with a display of fireworks at Claybottom pond, courtesy of new residents Chris and Kassandra Brown. I’m fond of this fiery and noisy tradition, and all the better for not having to sit in traffic to get to my destination, which is a 5 minute walk out of my front door.

There have been an increased number of folks expressing an interest in becoming residents from this visitor session, which I always find exciting. I love watching our village grow, and each new person who joins us brings with them their own unique skill set, whether it be teaching yoga, chiropractic medicine, nursing, permaculture design, or a desire to connect with others and facilitate the beginning of new gatherings.

Blackberry picking season is upon us, and everyone seems to be picking them these days. I was lucky to get a pint of blackberry sauce from Dan Durica, which will likely be eventually scooped onto some homemade ice cream that we will be making. I’ve seen folks gather gallons of berries effortlessly; which is tremendous when you consider that there are over 70 people living here right now who likely are harvesting an abundance all their own.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit in Rutledge, northeast Missouri, focused on sustainable living. We offer free tours to the public twice monthly from April-October. Our next tour of the year will be July 14th at 1pm. Meanwhile, for more information you can visit our website, or give us a call at (660) 883-5511.


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