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The Span of a Year: My Dancing Rabbit Experience

By Ryan Morris

Eleven months after attending the Dancing Rabbit Sustainable Living Visitor Program in May 2017, I finally started my residency at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. You may remember my first post about the eye-opening and transformative experience I had at the visitor program. Since then, it has been a winding and sometimes turbulent road with occasional discomfort and fear, yet abundant excitement and joy.

Ryan stacking straw bales during the Natural Building Workshop.

I decided to move on from my previous community residency at the neighboring community of Red Earth Farms and begin again here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Thankfully, I will not lose those friends, as the tri-communities of Sandhill Farm, Red Earth Farms, and Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage provide multiple options for living in intentional community. The homesteading option I left at Red Earth Farms is currently not my most-aligned path, but I am thankful for the kindness and compassion I received living among those special communitarians and for the experience of being graciously accepted into their community.

This year has been full of opportunities for me to stretch my comfort zone. Although, at times, I have gone through experiences of contraction, I have without a doubt expanded into spaces once personally unoccupied, both spiritually and psychologically. Living in the tri-communities has exposed me to opportunities such as a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat, a Burnout Workshop (stress management), a Yoga workshop, and the Mankind Project’s New Warrior Training. Beyond my participation in trainings and workshops like these, within community there is a true opportunity for personal growth, and the consistent challenge and blessing of intimate relationships. I have, without a doubt, seen more of my shadow these past 11 months than I have seen in my first 30 years of life. We are all on this journey of the soul and when we see each other as dynamic, support each other, and act with forgiveness and integrity, true transformation is possible. It is my belief that through growth on the personal level, we as individuals can transform the wider collective culture.

I am originally from south-central Florida where there is virtually only one season; hot and humid (summer). Earlier this year at Dancing Rabbit, just as the last snows had fallen for winter, Hassan spontaneously led our community Men’s Group out into the night and onto a steep hill for a night of sledding. I have not laughed that much in years and the snow between my butt cheeks did not stop me from howling at the moon as we rode down the hill together.

Experiencing the changing of the seasons has been an immense joy for me. After a long winter, I saw and felt for the first time in my life the beauty and awe of trees budding, morning birds singing, and rabbits dancing. Anima mundi waves at us with the wind and touches us through time as the soil warms in spring and life continues to flourish into summer.

    This year is quickly moving forward, with tree leaves now beginning to change colors, and the season for the Dancing Rabbit Sustainable Living Visitor Program is nearly over- just one visitor session remaining! From my perspective on this side of the aisle, the experience is much different and the pace is quick though enriched by frequent daily connection. Schedules fill quickly as we bound into harvest season and there are still needs to be met and openings to fill with folks who dream of living this way. Dancing Rabbit could use more willing hands. Humanity-at large needs more courageous souls ready to step out of their comfort zones and help co-create a new paradigm of interconnectedness and regeneration. Are you one of them?  

Ryan was born and raised in sunny Florida. Some of his interests include personal growth work, permaculture, sustainable living, and regenerative agriculture.

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