Return of the Cold: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Greetings from a much chillier Dancing Rabbit! If you’ve been reading the last few weeks you’ve likely noticed regular mentions of continuing unseasonable warmth. Yeah, not this week. Tereza here, with a cold-impacted take on happenings in the village.

Note that there’s a double meaning in that last sentence: I’ve been down with a nasty cold most of the week. So as sometimes happens, most of my reporting will be word-of-mouth, as I wasn’t around and about to find out what’s up, and certainly didn’t go to much myself.

Even if I wasn’t able to participate this week, I’m really enjoying all the energy for events as we head into winter. I’m sure that having five rhythms dance regularly will be really great for me. This week as I lay in bed in Nathan‘s house (where I stay when I’m ill so he can more easily take care of me) I could hear the music ever so faintly coming from Casa next door, and every so often I could hear (and feel!) pounding on the dance floor, perhaps from feet hitting the ground or people jumping up and down as they dance, each in their own way, to the music. It was fun to imagine who might be there and what they might be doing, although of course I would much rather be there in person. Maybe next time!

Karina and Christina brave the cold to prep garden beds for next year by mulching them with newspaper. Photo by Javi.

I’m also excited about the qigong classes Liz is offering in Casa twice a week. It sounds like a number of new folks attended this week, and I hope they keep going– I’m really enjoying it and want other people to come enjoy with me.

One interesting report is the construction of a big hoophouse out in Critterville. Javi told me he, Cameron, and Ryan have been working on it, and now I’m looking forward to my next walk out that direction so I can check it out. Or maybe I’ll see it when I drop by the Open Barn (‘cause it’s not really an open house) that’s happening out thataways this week. (Humorous aside: at our weekly planning meeting I’m not the only person who heard Ben say “open bar” and got maybe a little too excited. Tho’ I’m sure I’ll like the barn a lot too.)

Also reported to me was a rash of sleepovers happening among various kid groupings in the communities. Apparently (and this will be shocking, simply shocking to most of you) very little sleep happens at most of these sleepovers. Perhaps it’s time for a new name? I’m thinking  “chatterover” or “giggleover” might be more apt, not to mention way more fun to say.

Quite a few folks will be traveling for the winter holidays, visiting family and such. Ted, Sara and Aurelia of Ironweed kitchen co-op will be gone for a few weeks, so Danielle and I need to decide whether to hold down the fort on our own or close the place up and seek kitchens elsewhere. She’ll be heading out just before the New Year, so if we do stay in Ironweed I’ll be on my own for a stretch too. Other folks have stepped up for Ironweed chicken care, so I might only need to tend the kitchen and the kitten. (I know, I know, Gromit isn’t a kitten anymore, but it sounded cuter that way, didn’t it?)

I know we try to keep these updates fairly positive, but that proved been fairly hard for me as I was writing. During this bout of illness it has felt difficult to keep myself from falling into despair and depression. Is it just the lack of sun? (But I have my happy light, I tell myself.) The state of the world? (Well, yeah, but it’s not like that’s new.) That we’re heading into the holidays? (Bingo.) I know it’s meant to be a time of joy and all that, but I often struggle with this time of year in general, and being in bed for days, hurting and uncomfortable, and just feeling too lousy to do much of anything, as others are heading for family and friends elsewhere, really threatened to take me down the rabbit hole this time. On a positive note, I was able to notice it happening, and was able to (intellectually, at least) know that as soon as I felt physically better, I would feel emotionally better as well. Often just knowing what’s going on for me can ease the challenge a lot. So I’m choosing to see that as progress.

And I know I always feel better when I remember to invoke gratitude. So: I am very grateful to have shelter and clothing and food and clean water. And I am grateful to live in community, and for the sheer number of people who are willing to help out when I’m not well. Ted, Sara, and Aurelia all brought me Ironweed meals, made me breakfast, and (along with Dee before she left for a long weekend away) cooked a lot of tasty food this week. (And here I just have to mention that Aurelia made the most amazing sweet potato fries I think I’ve ever had in my entire life. Nom nom nom. Dang, they were good!) Nathan brought me food from Thistledown, and water, and helped take care of my house and bring me what I needed from there, and was a great general support co. Liz made a special dessert delivery of cookies and tasty tiny pecan tart that was much appreciated. Ted and Ezra both volunteered to come hang out and eat with me during community dinner, when I wasn’t up for going but wanted company. And new resident Cameron did setup for that same dinner, which I’d volunteered for the Sunday before but was not able to do. I could keep going with gratitude, but I think I’m out of my little self-made pit-o-despair enough to finish the rest of the update now…

It takes a village to do lots of things: not just raising kids, but caring for the sick, and helping people be born and die, and helping each other learn how to be better humans. Today that’s what I think community is really all about: all of us together, helping each other be the best we can. And in our particular case that includes trying to be way less bad to the planet that our species seems bent on destroying.

And on that cheery note, I’ll say farewell. May you all be well and happy, and for those of you who celebrate any of the upcoming holidays, I wish you light, warmth, and joy. Be good to each other out there!


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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