Sunday, December 11, 2005

Life in a caring community

Some years ago, my friend, Donella Meadows (who died suddenly in 2002) founded an intentional co-housing community, Cobb Hill, in Vermont. You can check it out on the Internet. One of the current community members continued the practice of writing monthly “Dear Folks” letters which speak both about community life and the work of the Sustainability Institute, which Dana also founded and which is collocated at Cobb Hill. This month’s letter includes a thoughtful reflection on community life, written by a recent member, that I thought was worth sharing.

I used to think that happy people were brimming with joy and ecstatic all the time, my perceived notion of what it meant to live life fully. I wanted to be in that club and was convinced there was something wrong with me that I wasn’t joyful and ecstatic all the time. Then I met Ben who kept hammering away at an opposing view that says happiness is about joyful glimmers and special moments of peace that need to be savored in the context of the daily struggles and drudgery of life.

So I just want to share that on Saturday night, I had one of those amazing special revelations about how lucky I am to be living in this community and it’s stayed with me as this week plugs along…Yes we have a lot of differences to manage …and misunderstanding and incidents where we take turns being prickly. But this is an amazing community of passionate, caring, loving people and I feel so blessed to be among you.

I grew up in a family where no one ever said anything positive and life was all about being criticized for not being perfect. I want you to know how much I appreciate and value what you contribute to Cobb Hill and how much my life has been enriched, already, by being in your presence and a part of this community.


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