Monday, April 27, 2015

The Mighty Morel Hunter Recovers from Her Crabbypants Attitude

Hi friends,

Oh, it has been such a long time since I've written. I've been going through a rough patch lately. Thinking about how to describe it makes me feel a bit whiny and ridiculous, but I've been thinking that I'd like to share more reality about ecovillage life (and not just the happy, kumbya moments) so here we are.

This June will mark the 16th anniversary of our arrival at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. What an absolutely amazing journey it has been. And what an emotional roller coaster! Living here, intentionally, with (at first) eight people and now almost 60, is quite possibly the most difficult thing I've ever done. Conversely, it is also one of the most rewarding and gratifying. Learning to (or at least attempting to) communicate in a clear, non-judgmental manner is hard work. I fail miserably, often. Another challenging aspect is the huge sense of loss that I feel. So many people have come and gone in the last 16 years. So many relationships forged over tears and laughter and songs and gardens and canning green beans. So many memories made, and so few left here with whom to share them.

The challenge of how to preserve the history of Dancing Rabbit, what to keep, what to let go, and how to share that history without boring everyone to tears is something I think about a lot. There are so many touching, or funny, or frustrating stories about every single person who has lived here that I don't know where to start. Every person who has spent time here has contributed something to the evolution of the village, and has helped it become what it is today.

We continue to host hundreds of visitors each year, primarily from April through October. It can be exhausting. After five years of running the Milkweed Mercantile and answering the exact same questions every morning at breakfast to a new set of inquisitive, earnest guests has worn me out. I feel like I've lost my zest, my energy, my sense of "me." I feel like I've become one-dimensional, viewed only as 'Eco Woman.' What happened to all of my other passions, interests, quirks? They have all been subsumed by Dancing Rabbit and the Milkweed Mercantile.

Fortunately, just as I was beginning to truly hit the skids emotionally, the Universe glanced over and said "Hey there - you need some help!" I received an email from a woman named Jody who asked about our Innkeeper position. Her experience was exactly what we've been looking for for the last five years. I could not believe that she agreed to come and spend the entire season as our Innkeeper. She has been here for five weeks now, and I'm starting to feel the craziness ease. I may not have to start a new blog entitled "Mrs. Crabbypants Explains It All To You" after all.

A few weeks after Jody emailed, I received an email from Sandy. She is a massage therapist, a yoga teacher, has worked at a B&B and at a retreat center. She wanted to come work with us, too.

And now, I hardly know what to do with myself. Jody and Sandy have things handled. I'm going through my yards-long to-do list and actually getting things done and checked off. It is really, really great. I am starting to smile again, and am no where near as crabby as I used to be. I haven't made anyone cry in days.

  After an hour of searching in all the wrong places we finally we found this (above) - signs that there had been morels here, but that we were too late.

Yesterday Kurt and I took a few hours to take a walk in the sun and search for morel mushrooms. While we only found six, that is so much better than the last time I went. That time I only found one, which I then LOST on the walk home. Six is a veritable feast! I am very happy with six.

 And then, the mighty morel hunter triumphed - score!

While we were out on our walk I got to play around with my new camera. Look at this moss! In real life it is very, very tiny. So cool! (I was documenting the huge lack of morels in that particular area...)

On our way by the old pond we noticed this gang of tadpoles. I don't know if you can tell just how huge they are. They look kind of like zombie apocalypse tadpoles, but I'm guessing they are bullfrog tadpoles. Seriously, they are HUGE!

 The branch shown above with the Godzilla-like tadpoles is shown in the photo below right smack in the middle for size reference. See what I mean? Aren't you just a teeny bit worried about poodles and small  children living at Dancing Rabbit? If they get near that pond, there's no telling what will happen!

Our food cooperative hosted the visitor group (11 adults, 5 kids) in addition to our seven members for dinner last night and lunch today. OMG. It was like a horde of locusts swooped through and ate everything. This morning when Sandy, Ross and I were making lunch, we just went through the fridge and kept adding things to the peanut-sauce-and-veg-over-rice schmoo. Potatoes? Great. Carrots? Perfect - put 'em all in. Half a cabbage! We need it. Old green beans that might have a bit of mold here and there? Heck, cut out the bad parts - we're desperate here! Fortunately this visitor group is made of astonishing human beings who are incredibly good natured. They are a pleasure, and they are helping me remember why I'm here.

I hope to write more often, to add a more day-in-the-life stuff. There's so much to tell - life is NEVER dull here!