Dancing Rabbit 2-16-10

Hi friends. This is Alline writing for Dancing Rabbit
Ecovillage.

 

This week can be summed up in two words: snow and retreat.

 

While the storm that hit the Northeast Missouri area was not
nearly as dramatic as the one that Washington
 DC received, it felt pretty big
to us. It snowed, and snowed, and then snowed some more. And then it STILL kept
coming. While many Rabbits are tired of it (particularly the parents who, twice
a day, have to drive the kids to the blacktop to catch the school bus) I remain
completely, utterly besotted with snow. Perhaps it comes from growing up in the
San Francisco Bay Area, where, if we wanted snow, we had to drive for four
hours. Additionally, I am still slack-jawed at the beauty of each individual
snowflake – as a child, carefully folding up paper and cutting “snowflakes,” I
could not imagine that this was a fairly close approximation of what they
really looked like. If you see me standing outside in a snowstorm staring at my
arms and my hands, please remember that I have not gone ‘round the bend, I am
merely appreciating snowflakes!

 

For the sake of our power systems and the batteries that
store our electricity, I am glad to see sunshine and blue sky out my window
today. The reflection of the sun off of the snow is especially powerful, and it
is fun to watch the charge go up, up, up!

 

This past weekend was the first half of our annual retreat;
Sharon and Mary Beth returned from Ecuador just in time to join us. We
gathered Thursday evening for a potluck dinner and retreat kick-off. Friday
morning we began our meetings. Topics ranged from Visitor Housing to
discussions on how we should govern ourselves – we currently use consensus; how
it is working for everyone? We also spent several sessions on what our Goals
and Priorities for 2010 are going to be – where are we going to focus our
energy this coming year? On the short list for consideration are: an overhaul
to our website; taking our newsletter, The March Hare, digital; revitalizing
our Land Management Team (tasked with stewardship of the land outside of the
village proper); decision making and governance; implementing the plan to
change/develop the circle driveway at the entrance to Dancing Rabbit; buying a
tractor; a Constitutional Convention, where we reexamine our documents and
policies to make sure they are in alignment with our values and current tax
laws; building a parking lot (everyone sing along with Joni Mitchell here);
landscaping the courtyard; building visitor housing; indexing all of our
previous decisions; a Dancing Rabbit Vehicle Cooperative vehicle upgrade;
revitalizing the Human Resources committee (which oversees any employees of DR
Inc.); and last but certainly not least, discussing the possibility of a grid
intertie system for power. Whew! It sometimes seems overwhelming, but at the
same time is a rather exhilarating – imagine having the power to change your
world! Each person here has the ability to make a big difference in the lives
of others and in the development and growth of our home/community.

 

A retreat doesn’t happen all by itself – Tony, Brian and
Maikwe worked long and hard to structure not only the topics but the entire
weekend. Dinner was provided for the entire group on Friday and Saturday
(Anthony crafted a Korean feast, and Chad & Alyson prepared a burrito
extravaganza) and Rabbits took turns bringing snacks for both morning and
afternoon sessions. The topics were thoroughly researched and prepared, and
thoughtfully presented by Cob, Jennifer, Tony, Bear, Lily, and Maikwe. Our
friends Sarah B., Renay from Sandhill and Barb from Wisconsin helped with childcare so that
Rabbits who are parents could relax and concentrate on the meetings. We are so
appreciative for their work! And Joe and Evan, who are students of Laird and
Maikwe’s facilitation training, provided a safe, comfortable framework for us
to work within. We were also very happy to welcome Tamar back – she’ll be with
us for two weeks..

 

One of the most interesting topics, at least for me, is
considering going from having our own independent solar/wind power systems to
hooking up to “the grid.” Please see the Mem Dem Letters to the Editor or my
blog (http://ecovillagemusings.blogspot.com/)for more on this (too much to go
into here!).

 

Are you interested in spending time at Dancing Rabbit this
summer and fall? Members of Dancing Rabbit are currently looking for folks
interested in Work Exchange opportunities – there are spots available for construction,
gardening and child care. The Milkweed Mercantile will also be looking for
several chef-assistants and food preservation helpers later in the summer. For
more info, please see http://www.dancingrabbit.org/social_change/interns.php

 

The Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage will be
opening in March and is now accepting reservations for rooms and seminars. For
more info, please see: http://milkweedmercantile.com/inn/

 

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge,  Missouri
practicing ecological sustainability. Tours are over for the season, but will
be offered again starting in April. For more information, please see our
website at www.dancingrabbit.org

More Alline rants and raves:
Ecovillage Musings: http://ecovillagemusings.blogspot.com/
The Milkweed Mercantile:  www.milkweedmercantile.com   
A Passion for Green Business: http://passiongreenbusiness.blogspot.com/                                                   

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