From my perspective, life in the village of late has been a bit of a mixed bag, with some sad happenings, family and friends visiting, and our annual Land Day celebration. Tereza here, feeling a bit under the weather, but doing my best to keep y’all in the loop.
The sad news is more passings. Ted’s father, Keir Sterling, passed away on September 24th. Keir and his wife Anne have been stalwart supporters of Dancing Rabbit over the years, and visited frequently, most recently attending Aurelia’s 10th birthday party in June. Among other roles he played in his life, Keir was a most excellent grandpa, and he will be greatly missed. I’ve lived with Ted for nigh on thirteen years now, and heard many stories about his father, and though I saw Keir for just a few days most years, I feel I know him well. I’m certain all the Rabbits join me in sending our sincere condolences to his friends and family.
Another recent loss was Mae’s dog, Judy. I’ll miss seeing her grey-streaked hopeful face, as she wandered the paths looking for Mae, Althea, or (more likely) something to eat. She was a sweet old dog… Judy, I hope you have lots of lovely smelly things to eat wherever you are.
Ironweed kitchen co-op has had a lot of comings and goings in the last while. Ted and Aurelia were away with family out east during Keir’s illness and passing, and wexer Meggie visited her college town for an annual race and visits with friends. Hassan has been eating with us part-time for a while, but during the Permaculture Design Course his other part-time kitchen took a break, so he was back with us full-time. Now he’s back to part-time. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has to regularly check the calendar to see where he’s eating– for some reason I haven’t been able to keep it in my head.
Also joining us in Ironweed for a few meals were Stephen’s mother Lynn and her partner Kent. They were here for several days, staying in the Mercantile and seeing the sights here and nearby. They told me that they enjoyed their stay, and I enjoyed their presence as an enthusiastic audience for song circle on Wednesday.
Also visiting were Tamar’s sister, Sharón, and her partner Rachel. They timed their trip specifically to be here for Land Day, and sounds like they had a good time. I love Sharón’s visits (though they’re always too short!) and it was great to meet Rachel, who I hope will come again next year!
And finally, Land Day, the annual celebration of the day we bought the land, happened on Saturday. It all kicked off with a pancake breakfast out at Critterville (BYOT, aka bring your own toppings). After that was the ritual, where we tell the story of Dancing Rabbit’s beginnings. Someone tells a part of the story, and then we all say “We remember.” This was one of the first times that no one from the very early days was present, so it clearly has become our group’s collective story and memory of those events.
Next year will be our 20th anniversary, and perhaps more of the “old-timers” will be here, so we can find out what we might have embellished or forgotten. (We sure do love the story of Vermin, the cat who barely escaped being left at Donner Pass. And the one about Cecil losing the big check. And the one about Jeffrey… well, I’ll stop there.)
In the afternoon there were a number of active options: a land walk with Thomas, a 5 Rhythms dance, fris-lid (or is it frisb-lid?) golf (more on this in a moment), wiffle* ball, and, of course, an ultimate game.
Frisb-lid (or frislid or however you want to spell it) golf is a frisbee golf game played with an item that is ubiquitous here at DR: white plastic bucket lids. This year’s course was set up by former residents Kim K and Scout, with help from Stephen. I wasn’t there, but looking at the photos posted on Facebook and the ones I asked Meggie to take, it looks like it was a blast. Some moments, frozen in time by the camera, offer truly amazing— and often hilarious— faces, stances, and frislid positions (there’s one that looks like Rae is wearing the largest weirdest white hat ever). Some of those golfers had some great moves!
After the vigorous afternoon we had a lovely potluck dinner, and ended the night with a bonfire. All in all, a wonderful celebration, complete with friends and neighbors, food and companionship, and memories both old and newly-created.
With all the sorrows and joys, ups and downs, and comings and goings, it often helps me to remember that it’s all a cycle, and however it’s feeling at this moment, this too shall pass.
This week begins the last of this year’s visitor sessions, offering us another chance to share what we know, make new friends, and maybe even entice a few new community-minded folks to join us here on the journey.
*Thought you might like to know how hard I work for you, dear readers. While looking up “whiffle ball vs. wiffle ball” I fell down one of those odd internet holes: the wiffle ball wiki, which yes, does actually exist. Although there is no text on the page in question (I had to use google to find out that there is no “h”), there are pages galore on rules and regulations, history of the ball and the company that created it, and much much more.
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.