Visitors and Memories: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Alex brought out the scythe to trim grass for "Land Clean Day" at Dancing Rabbit. Photo by Dennis.
Alex brought out the scythe to trim grass for “Land Clean Day” at Dancing Rabbit.
Photo by Dennis.

Don’t know about you, kind reader, but I’m reeling from too many days in full-bore, too-much-to-do, holy-cow-autumn-is-approaching-WAY-too-fast mode…

Tereza here, and it’s my turn again to regale you with stories from Dancing Rabbit Land, a wonderful place where the living is… well, perhaps not so much easy as it is meaningful. A place where the ducks will give you a good quackin’ if you dare to run by them too quickly on your way to a meeting, and the torrential rain brings gifts of mulch to those of us on the downhill end of town…

Yes, that last bit was my attempt to mention the weather without calling too much attention to it, but I can’t help it! My goodness did we get some rain this week! The ducks were loving it, and I truly do appreciate the Mulch from Elsewhere, but I have to say overall I was not a fan. I am not fond of chilly, and chilly it has been.

Yes, I’m needing to get my head around the fact that winter is on the way to northeast Missouri, whether I like it or not. I find it helps to recall the joys I find in winter here in the heartland: a warm wood stove on a cold night, hot chocolate made with direct-trade cacao and local milk, smaller crowds at community supper so I can actually hear the conversation…

But those are past (and future) dreams, and right now I’m meant to be telling you about the present, or at least the last week here at DR. So on to that…

Dee, Hassan, Nathan and I had appointments in Quincy on Tuesday, making for a great rideshare, but we were excited to also be able to pick up a new visitor to DR, a photojournalist for a major magazine who is working on a story on exemplary ecovillages and sustainable communities. He was great fun to chat with on the way home, and has since been wandering around, getting to know the village and taking lots of pictures. Bonus points for our stellar, full-car, five-person rideshare! Woot!

Speaking of excellent rideshares, I also had a trip to the dentist this week (thanks for the help, doc!), joined by two other humans and one dog. Two of the humans were bound for the dentist, the other human and the dog for the vet. (Um, only the dog was actually seeing the vet. Like for treatment. The human was accompanying the dog. And probably paying the bill. In case that wasn’t clear. But I digress…) Penny (the dog) was excellent in the car, plus she’s super cute so I don’t mind that she won’t pay a share of the vehicle co-op fees for the trip. (Note: Cob, Penny’s human, was fairly well-behaved as well.)

The second-to-last visitor period for the year is more than halfway through as I write, and this group has been fascinating and fun. Hassan and I are their liaisons, which means we meet with them regularly throughout their stay to go over the workshop (and work party) schedules, check in to see how they’re doing, and assign them assistant cook slots to help the Rabbits who make lunch and dinner for them. We answer questions large and small about DR, and generally try to smooth their way as much as possible.

These folks not only came together as a group really well, they did it very quickly, cooking cooperative breakfasts (the meal we provide ingredients for but that visitors make for themselves) after just a day or two. Quite impressive!

They are an interesting bunch, and if I’d thought ahead I would have gotten permission to tell you more about some of these interesting individuals who have come to see what we’re about, but since I didn’t plan better I’ll just have to say that a few are considering making DR a more permanent home (yippee!) so perhaps you’ll hear more about them in updates to come…

One of the biggest events in my week was the anniversary of Tamar’s death. For those of you who don’t know, Tamar came to DR as an intern around the same time I did (14 years ago now) and became a member a year or two later. She influenced our growing village and culture in many ways, and it’s hard to believe it’s already been four years since she died of pancreatic cancer.

It’s a bittersweet time– a time for grieving her loss, of course, but also an opportunity to remember the good times, and to connect with her parents, Eva and Amos, who made the trip from the East Coast to be here. I remain so grateful that her family chose to bury Tamar here, far from them but close to this land she loved and all the community folk whose lives she impacted.

We had a short ceremony by her graveside the drizzly afternoon of the 12th, with songs and chants in English and Hebrew, a few reminiscences, and of course tears. Then that evening, in the Great Room she helped build, we had a huge song circle, where those of us who knew her well, and many who never met her, shared more songs, many of them ones that she had taught us, or that she liked to sing, at song circle. It was a lovely connecting gathering in memory of a special person, and I was especially happy that so many newer Rabbits and visitors joined in.

In other news, a generous donor has offered the nonprofit outreach and education arm of Dancing Rabbit a challenge — if we meet it in time we’ll get $3000! The money goes toward our efforts to share sustainability with others, and I’m hopeful our supporters will help us make it happen! Check out the email with details if you’re a subscriber to our email list, or go to our website’s donate page for more info.

And last, but certainly not least, this week we also had not one but two Land Clean days (folks could choose whichever day worked best for them), in which visitors, guests, and Rabbits worked together to spiff the place up. It looks great, and just in time for our annual Open House, happening Sept 27th from 1-4 p.m.! You don’t want to miss it, so mark your calendars! If you know you can’t make it, or to whet your appetite if you can, check out the short video of last year’s event!

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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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