Pick a Season, Any Season: A Dancing Rabbit Update

It’s certainly been an interesting week here in Rabbitland in terms of the weather. Seems like we had every season this week. There was snow, though sadly (for some) not enough for sledding, and it melted fairly quickly leaving my least favorite kind of weather: muddy. Those soggier days felt like fall to me. Then there was sun (very welcome after the weeks of grey we’ve had) and almost-summer-like warmth, and then even more sun, with brisk winds that felt like spring. It is February though, right? I didn’t lose track of the days and it’s actually April?]

Oy. Tereza here, reporting on the week that was.

We kicked it off with the first three days of our annual retreat, when we come together to talk about important things like how we are doing, and how our committees and organizations are doing, and what on earth we did last year, and all that sort of thing.

Dee and Hassan, who’d been traveling for about a month, got home literally minutes before deep check ins began on Monday afternoon, and gosh darn it, it’s good to have them back.

We always start retreat with deep check ins, a time when whoever cares to comes together to share, with no cross talk or discussion, what their year was like or where they’re at right now or anything they want to tell the community. It’s usually one of the most well-attended retreat sessions for good reason: it’s powerful and connecting to hear each other, to find out what’s important and good and hard in our lives, and (for me at least) it also feels good to tell folks what’s true for me.

2016 was a rough year for many of us, and, at least for those of us who’ve been home most of the winter, the dark gray days have taken their toll, so a number of check ins, including mine, brought up challenges and difficult feelings. And (as always, it seems in a community setting) we’re not all in the same place at the same time. Some folks were feeling really good about things. And there’s something about that dynamic that feels really important to me, like it’s a metaphor for this whole community thing. Even if I might be feeling down and hopeless right now, others are in a space of feeling hopeful and eager for the year to come, which helps me remember that “this too shall pass”, and that sometimes I’m one of the folks holding the positive hopeful space when others aren’t as able.

2017 Dancing Rabbit Retreat! Photo by Kim.

Tuesday we began with a session talking about how we, as individuals and a community facing challenges, are really doing. It felt supportive and connecting to me, even though, as sometimes happens, at the end I had more questions than answers.Then there were committee reports. In this part of retreat a number of committees and organizations give brief presentations on what they did in 2016, and sometimes plans for 2017, often including slides. This is also generally well attended, and sometimes the slides are quite humorous. I personally have a great deal of affection for the double-decker “bunny with a pancake on its head” slide, but probably just because it was my idea to include it (in the Village Council presentation).

Aaaaand unfortunately after less than a day of retreat, I got sick and ended up spending most of the week in bed, so most of the rest of this column is based on the reports of others. All mistakes and exaggerations are my own.

I’m told that the discussions about BEDR (Better Energy for Dancing Rabbit), our village-wide renewable power co-op, were quite juicy, and I’m sad to have missed them. (Do you think the people who told me they were juicy were making an electricity joke? I kind of think so but I’m not quite sure…)

If there was more retreat last week, well, I missed it, and am too lazy to look up the schedule and ask someone how it was, so that’s all on the first half of retreat. (This coming week we’ll do three days of Open Space Technology– maybe Ben will tell you about that next week. If not, let us know you want to know more about part two of retreat and we’ll see if we can fill you in…)

In other news, folks played Ultimate again, at last. I bet they loved it. And yelled “Up!” a lot. They do that, those Ultimate players.

The mulch fairies came and deposited a lovely lot of mulch on the paths around Ironweed kitchen, Ziranli/Osage, and my house, just in time for the deluges of spring. (OK, it wasn’t really fairies. It was Ted and Sara—and Aurelia? Yay, and thanks to them!)

When I asked folks what had happened that I could report on, several remarked on the many folks who have returned home in the last few weeks. It’s good to see our community mates again, and I for one love the feeling that the village is waking back up and feeling more lively and full. There were also a number of former Rabbits and friends here visiting, but I missed them all, darn it. I hope they had a great time!

And in my last piece of reported news, a car full of Rabbits and friends went to the monthly contra dance in Fairfield, IA. It sounds like a wonderful time was had, and there are plans to go again. I hope to join them on a trip sometime soon.

As the spring relentlessly approaches (even when it seems like winter-summer-fall outside), I look forward to my own travels to Texas with Nathan, and after our return, a fresh new crop of visitors and workshop participants to meet this year.

Best wishes to all of you, wherever and however you are!

Spots in our natural building workshop this June are filling fast— if you’re interested you might want to register soon! You can check out our other 2017 programs here.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
is an intentional community and nonprofit outside Rutledge, in northeast Missouri, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. Find out more about us by visiting our website, reading our blog, or emailing us.


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