Cob here, checking in with an update and musings on life at Dancing Rabbit. We’ve certainly experienced plenty of wet recently, and extend our profound sympathy to all those upstream who have had even more. I’m from back east, where thunderstorms are usually much smaller in all respects….size, speed, intensity, and volume. It’s hard for me to comprehend the quantity of rain required to cause such widespread flooding. While our local rainfall has produced a large crop of mosquitoes, it has also filled all our ponds and cisterns to capacity, allowing us to cool off after a hot day of work.
And just what have we been working on? To say “more of the same”, while accurate, simply doesn’t do justice to reality. Matt and Jeff have begun digging the hole for their partially buried “earth-ship” style housing complex, using the excavated clay and awnings to keep it from becoming yet another pond. Rumor has it that they only have another three feet to go before beginning more recognizable construction. Ziggy continues to make amazing progress on his earthen walls…enough to secure the windows in place…and he’s now having to pause to construct scaffolding before he can continue cobbing.
Liat’s bus gets a new roof this week (after polling the community for help in choosing the color); the Milkweek Mercantile is wired for lights; and Bear, Jason, and Tom have embarked on a number of demolition projects, including a larger structure in Kirksville this week. One side effect of all this construction is the shrinkage of resource piles here on the farm…and some folks are looking for a few things*. Check out the list at the end of this column, and if you happen know where folks could recover any of these items, please let us know.
Of course most rabbits have spent countless hours in their various gardens as well, and the fruits of their labors are really beginning to show. It happens every year…the quiet excitement of watching seedlings put out their first flowers and setting their first fruit. The heady anticipation of tasting the first truely fresh bean, cucumber, or tomato since last summer. The rains have made watering easier, but have also increase the challenge of keeping ahead of the weeds! For a short while I’m enjoying sitting back, letting the plants and the bees do their thing, knowing that we’ll be busy harvesting and processing soon enough. I wouldn’t have thought it, but apparently at least one hummingbird has developed a taste for the tomatillos (used in making salsa) we have planted near some decorative coral bells.
The DR social scene has been busy as well, with many family visits as well. I recently spent a week in New York and drove back with my parents who stayed for a few days with the grandkids. We all had a great time and hope for a longer visit in the near future. Alyssa’s mom came for a week and Dan’s parents stopped by for a few days as well. Liat’s brother Avi and their parents arrived just in time to help us send off the current group of visitors in style, with a lounge/dance party organized by Rowan. Some rabbits simply enjoyed the great food and lemonade while watching others dance up a storm.
Adults and children had a ball, singing and dancing to tunes I haven’t heard since highschool (and I’m NOT revealing how long ago that was)! It will be my turn next to wear the official birthday cape, with several more birthday parties scheduled for the coming weeks. We have a surprisingly large number lumped together in July, so be sure to read future columns for details on those antics.
No doubt we will enjoy our collective “down-time” before the next visitor period, and the break from running workshops. But committees will continue to meet, work parties will continue to have fun, and gardens and buildings will continue to grow. Kids will also continue to be kids…playing in the mud, swimming, picking berries, playing endlessly creative games and roaming all over the land. Rumor even indicates they will be providing a play of their own devising for our entertainment later this week. Many rabbits are also planning for trips into Wyaconda late Thursday afternoon for the Red Cross blood drive, and to Memphis for the Scotland County Fair!
As busy as daily life at Dancing Rabbit can be, my recent trip east put it all in perspective. The endless bustle of driving to and fro in our own private capsules from play dates to grocery stores to appointments, struggling to schedule times to connect with friends, and continually missing neighbors who are off zipping around on their own errands, leaves a strange sense of emptiness and isolation…even in the midst of busyness.
Where are the deep connections with people? Where is the opportunity to walk somewhere with purpose and enjoy nature along the way? For me at least, it is so much more fulfilling to be spending my time working with close friends, who are also my neighbors, on real and tangible projects, or discussing our joint future. There still aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to-do list, but life is full in the best sense.
May this week be deeply rewarding and fulfilling, and if you are helping our neighbors in Iowa and Illinois with their sandbagging efforts then best of luck to you!
*Rabbit construction wish-list
Corrugated metal roofing
Used but clean carpet
Used railroad ties
Burlap (sacking or sheets)
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a nonprofit and residential community that demonstrates ecological sustainability in Rutledge, MO. We offer tours on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month at 1pm. Our next tour this season will be on June 27th. Please call us at (660) 883-5511 to let us know you plan to attend. For more information about Dancing Rabbit, please see our website at www.dancingrabbit.org, or come join one of our tours…we’d love to show you around!