Our Kind of Flush, 10/22/2012

We have a rotation of writers here at DR, taking turns to bring you this column each week. As a writer, it’s a roll of the proverbial dice what will come up to report on during my week. This is the second time I’ve been blessed to have remarkable natural phenomena remind me what a treasure community life is.

Some time ago I reported on the appearance of aurora as I was stepping out on my way home from a movie at a friend’s place, and the subsequent homage to Paul Revere—folks running from house to house shouting, “Aurora, aurora!” to bring people out to “ooh” and “ahh” at the red glow in the evening sky. This week, there was a rainbow. Not just any rainbow, though. This was the most brilliant, prairie-spanning, intact, double rainbow I’ve ever seen.

Rainbow Over Town Center
This view of the rainbow frames the future site of the new common house, and the present site of one of BEDR's solar arrays. Photo by Jess.

The coolest part about seeing the rainbow is that I might have missed it. A few of us were in the common house, enjoying some leftover brew from the reunion party, and others were chatting, working, preparing food, and playing board games. Bear opened the door suddenly and said, “If you’re interested, there is a complete, double rainbow outside.” Eyes lit up, chairs scraped, and people hurried to the door. We stood in the rain, ran around to get neighbors, took photographs, discussed the physics of rainbows and just generally celebrated the beauty of the thing. If I’d been living someplace where my neighbors didn’t feel comfortable knocking on my door or coming into my living room to tell me about a rainbow, I might have missed it, and I’m sure glad I didn’t.

Each of the past two Sundays we’ve had double-length meetings on “Power Dynamics” hosted by the ad hoc Power Dynamics Committee and facilitated by our neighbor Alyson from Red Earth Farms. We’re trying to get a handle on what unhealthy uses of power might or do show up at DR, and what to do when that happens. It’s a tricky subject to pin down, and after a total of four double-length full-group meetings on the subject and innumerable conversations outside the meetings, my sense is that we have accomplished creating a list of what people want to address and have just scratched the surface on actually addressing those things.

We’ve had rain and some warmer weather, so mushrooms are coming out. Shiitakes from inoculated logs and wild puffballs are the two varieties I’ve partaken in. Many of us have brand new inoculated logs courtesy of a mushroom workshop down at the Possibility Alliance. In the next few years I reckon we’ll be flush with even more shiitakes, oysters, and lion’s manes.

The last visitor program of the year is ending soon. It’s been a rich visitor season, yielding many applicants for residency, a start on next year’s batch of wexers, and joyful and enriching connections.

We took delivery of a bunch of reclaimed windows for the New Common House. A bunch. They’re big and heavy and will likely serve us well through years and years of graciously accepting the heat and light that the sun provides us. It’s exciting to see pieces of the New Common House waiting to be put in place.

This weekend, the 27th, is our last free public tour of the season. Thanks to all who have come out to visit us and learn more about what we’re doing here. Education and inspiration is our mission, and we are very happy to have had so many visitors this year. If you live in the area and haven’t come to see us, please consider doing so this weekend. I personally want to invite teachers and other staff at the SCR-1 schools to come out and get a sense of what we’re about.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community of more than 60 people and growing. We practice ecologically sustainable living in Rutledge, Northeast Missouri. We offer free tours to the public from April-October. For more information, see our website at www.dancingrabbit.org, find us on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/DancingRabbitEcovillage, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/dancingrabbit or give us a call at (660) 883-5511.

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