Sep 14, 2008

Folding Underwear

Here at O.U.R. Ecovillage in Shawnigan Lake, our tent home for another couple weeks, lives are weaved together both formally and informally. On the formal side, we sign up for a chore each week - this week I'm cleaning the composting toilet and the shower in the greenhouse; last week I was in charge of putting out granola and fruit for breakfast then blowing the horn across the valley to roust everyone. We also put in 10 hours a week of work on the buildings, garden, office, etc as needed, though that's hard to balance with being with the kids and all the work of prepping for the move.

It's the informal connections that touched me yesterday. We took our visiting Texan friends on a hike up nearby Mt. Baldy (with stunning views of the lake to the West and the ocean and Mt. Baker to the East, though the boys were engrossed in crystal hunting), and took along one of the other boys living here for the hike, allowing his parents to get their work done. Arriving back just in time for lunch, I found that someone had taken our sleeping bags out of the washing machine and hung them up to dry. After lunch I took our other clean clothes and someone else's off the line, folding them into their laundry bag, then put up our second load to dry. While Zekiah and I napped, Galen played with another family. At dinnertime, a volunteer took Zekiah into the garden to help with picking the salad greens, while I went back to the laundry line to discover that someone had folded my clothes into a neat pile. Someone produced icecream to adorn the homemade apple pie for dessert, and someone else procured wine for the campfire sing-along that ended around 1:30 in the morning, with people from 20 to 70 years old joining in.

Living in community requires alot of meetings, conflict resolution, consensus training, and hard work. But it's the easy flow that makes it magic. The ever-present opportunity and impetus to gently touch someone that we all crave and have so much trouble creating in the day-to-day modern world. We don't have to be isolated, don't have to be alone. I'm thankful each day for this brief opportunity to once again live in this natural, connected way that we hope to eventually create in our new home.

Welcome all - you are welcome into our lives, welcome to play with our children while we fold your underwear. It's as easy as Yes, as comfortable as Thanks, and as natural as Friend.


  1. I'm an introvert who fantasizes about having a house with a moat. But this is sweet enough to make me wonder if I could camp with my neighbours...or at least share a washing mashine with them.

  2. Oh goddess, I love this!
    Rick, I had no idea you blogged, thanks for posting the link on FB... consider yourself added to my list of crazies that I read often

    In community,