March Showers…

Photo of the pond dock floating
It may not look like much, but this floating dock had been pathetically slumped on the bottom of the pond until the recent abundance of precipitation lifted it up where it belongs: in about three feet of water. Photo by Clint.

It’s been snowing! One day this week, all three of our vehicles got stuck in snow drifts and were left on the road while the occupants walked home. Alline had to spend the night in Quincy because no one could go get her from the train station.

Like many parents in Scotland County, I’m sure, I had gotten pretty well out of the habit of sending my kid to school by the time they finally went back this past week. Between snow days, snow drift days, and sick days, I think mine went in one day in a span of two weeks. Now they’re back to normal, but running the buses on hard top only, which means waking up extra early to plug in the block heater on our truck to drive them out to the paved road to meet the bus. The way it’s been precipitating, I’m guessing it will be quite some time until our road is firm enough for the bus to drive on without getting stuck.

Spring snow and rain at DR, for those of you unfamiliar, cause lots and lots of mud and puddles. The kids went out to play and came back with cold and dirty feet because their boots got stuck in sucking muck. We’re trying to be mindful of our step to avoid causing undue erosion. I’m sure we’ll have truckloads of mulch as soon as the path maintenance person can manage it and in the meantime, we have extra floor cleaning to do.

I’m not complaining, though. I was thrilled to have the chance to go sledding this year after a bummer of a dry winter last year. All this snow and rain has filled the ponds back up and will hopefully mean that at least the trees will get a good long drink in, even if the rain stops too soon for our annual, more shallow-rooted crops.

Maybe it was a little later than ideal for starting some things indoors, but I was not the only one who ordered seeds and plants this past week. I’ve been enjoying talk of tomato varieties, the most groovy seed suppliers, beneficial and beautiful wildflower varieties native to this region that might look awesome growing up the outhouse, and other plant-related musings.

For me, personally, the act of committing time and money to ordering seeds and fruiting shrubs for my food garden was particularly meaningful. Spending time in the garden is something that I came to Dancing Rabbit for, and I haven’t been doing it nearly as much as I want to. Making the decision to keep my garden lease and really invest the time necessary to keep it producing instead of spending that time doing other things was tough. There’s so much I want to participate in, and so many opportunities to contribute to the well being of the whole world from DR that it’s hard to say no to those in favor of what might be called more selfish pursuits.

Our organizations are going through a period now not unlike seeds in the spring. There are nascent projects and policies that will drastically change and increase the way we influence the world by our experimentation and example. It’s awesome. One might even say, “epic.”

We are also going through a phase, as Alyson put it, not unlike kids in their teens. We’re 15 years old now, as an organization. Those projects and policies that are going to make us more powerful are also causing us some growing pains.

Besides that, folks have been pretty grumpy this winter. Not everyone is afflicted, but enough that it seems like a general trend, and most are affected in some way. Some are now starting to come out of those doldrums that lack of sunshine and exercise can bring on. I hear from experienced communitarians that bickering and discontent peak in February, across communities, and I’m sure some favorable winds will soon begin to blow for us.

I’ve got a mason jar of filtered rain water here, and I offer a toast: Here’s to abundant rainfall, little green seedlings, and being the change. Cheers!

If you want a more in-depth experience of life here are at Dancing Rabbit or interested in the possibility of membership, consider applying for a session in our 2013 Visitor Program. The first session starts in April and you can find more details on our website at www.dancingrabbit.org

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community of more than 60 members in Rutledge, northeast Missouri, practicing ecologically sustainable living. Our tours begin again in April, and you can also learn more at www.dancingrabbit.org, visit our blog The March Hare at blog.dancingrabbit.org, or give us a call at (660)883-5511.

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