It was a fairly typical summer week in some ways– a few hot and muggy days, some welcome rain, and a couple downright cool nights, not to mention the usual heaps-of-stuff going on — yet in other ways it was anything but the usual. Tereza here with the news from Dancing Rabbit…
Perhaps the biggest happening this week is one of those bad news/good news stories: Ashly was in a car accident Wednesday night. The good news is she’s OK, and it was an extremely lucky thing. The car was totaled, but landed on the exact right fence post in the exact right way so that things were not very much worse for her. There was also an amazing show of help from our neighbors. I’ll quote from an email Alline wrote to Rabbits to let us know what had happened:
“When Jennifer and I arrived at the scene, there must have been 75 first responders. Dozens of trucks and cars with flashing lights. Someone with a big rig set up with his flashers about half a mile from the crash to slow and divert traffic. It was an amazing example of community and working together. Wayne Winn was there and was especially helpful in getting details to us as they tried to extricate Ashly… It was very, very scary. … We have kind neighbors.”
Ashly, and all of us who love her, want to express our great appreciation to everyone who helped, especially Sean Huff, who called the emergency and DR numbers for her. Ashly especially wants to express her thanks to the unknown woman who sat and prayed with her while those calls were being made. Whoever you are, please know that she very much appreciated your support in that difficult time. We are all so grateful that she is OK, and that we live in a place where we can count on our neighbors when things get tough. We all look forward to her full and speedy recovery.
In other bad/good news, we said farewell to Rachel and Tony, who left for California and their 6-12 month sabbatical this week. The good part is that we had a lovely, tear-and laughter-filled goodbye party for them. There were spoken appreciations, a puppet show, cupcakes (mmmm!), the presentation of a book filled with memories (and more appreciations) for the two of them, and (of course!) a dance party in the Casa after. Appreciations ran the gamut from teary to funny. Adriana ended her hilarious offering with the more serious and universally-agreed-upon summary: “Because you always inspire, always encourage; because this place wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you, and it certainly won’t be the same without you.”
Saturday night Dan held a performance of covers and originals in the Casa. Mark from Red Earth opened with his own original song for Tony and Rachel, which was lovely. Dan played two guitars (no, not at the same time!), harmonica, and what I think he said was an Appalachian dulcimer. The music was great, and the appreciative audience made for a fun night out. I love living with such talented folks!
After one of his original songs, a hilarious oldie but goodie about the Y2K bug, Dan mentioned that we shouldn’t be surprised if we found ourselves humming the tune later… Yup, it’s catchy all right. Even my usual earworm-destroying technique of singing the words to the Gilligan’s Island song to the tune of Amazing Grace (or vice versa) has not been able to get it out of my head… Thanks, Dan!
An all-day consensus and DR process training took place on Friday, with the incoming Village Council folk required to attend, and a number of new and not-so-new Rabbits in attendance as well. Laird did the consensus piece, with Kassandra presenting the DR process part.
As we’ve grown as a community and transitioned from full-group consensus to the Council model, many areas are in flux and we are still finding clarity on some things. It can be confusing at times, even for old-timers like me, so I appreciate the chance to get together and go through it with other folks who are interested in governance and decision making.
[Insert time travel noises here]… going back in time a wee bit, Ted forgot to mention in last week’s update that we had an excellent presentation from Brooke and Professor Josh Lockyer about the results of last year’s eco-audit research. The whuh? Brooke (with the help of a number of research assistants) studied our ecological impact and quality of life last year, compared our data to mainstream America, and wrote her PhD thesis about the results.
Part of the research included presenting the results to Rabbits, most of whom probably aren’t going to read all 2 zillion pages of thesis-speak (yes, that is an exaggeration, but I saw her Facebook posts while she was writing and I bet she would agree it sometimes felt like zillions…). The data was presented well, and we of course had not-quite-zillions of questions (“Does the water usage figure for the average American include rainwater catchment?” “Does that vehicle miles data include kids?” “Will you please take out — um, we mean weigh and do data analysis of — our trash and recycling again?” etc.).
It was fun to be all together in one room with my community and see data on a screen that says we really are doing things differently here, and that what we’re doing makes a difference. Many of the numbers looked very good, though it was often difficult to gather the data on DR and/or find comparable data for America in general, so I’m glad that this research is likely to continue.
I’m looking forward to refining the process so that we can get ever-better data on where we need to focus to continue lowering our impact. We know that long distance travel is one area we can improve on, and that figuring out how to better measure food impacts is essential. Brooke is planning to write an article for the DR blog that will present the results, again in real-people words, rather than academese, so if you’re interested be on the lookout for that.
All in all, for me at least, the last few weeks have been a time of appreciating the people in our lives and remembering how precious the time we have together is. Thanks to all of you for reading. Now I’m going to go tell someone I appreciate them, and I encourage you to do the same (if that’s hard for you, I promise it gets easier with practice)!
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