Jubilant July 2024 Almanac

Jubilant July 2024 Almanac

In Summer

Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air's soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

— Paul Laurence Dunbar

It’s been sultry, steamy and sticky! And summer has only just started!

Still, our common dream remains … to be an agrarian intentional community that is regenerative, collaborative, creative, and celebratory in all that we do. 

And we’ve done it again … experienced another month of collaborating creatively and celebrating life (and each other) in regenerative ways.

Yay us!

Here’s another look at our evolving adventure. Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Juicy June Almanac 2024

Juicy June Almanac

The Sleeper

By Edgar Alan Poe

At midnight, in the month of June,

I stand beneath the mystic moon.

An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,

Exhales from out her golden rim,

And, softly dripping, drop by drop,

Upon the quiet mountain top,

Steals drowsily and musically

Into the universal valley.


Enjoy this month’s juicy Almanac!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meaningful May 2024 Almanac

Meaningful May 2024 Almanac

May has come in,
young May the beautiful,
weaving the sweetest chaplet of the year.
Along the eastern corridors, she walks.
What time the clover rocks the earliest bee.
Her feet are flush with sunrise,
and her veil floating in breezy odors o’er her hair.
— Thomas Buchanan Read

Hello, dear friends!

I think it’s almost impossible to be sad during springtime in North Carolina. Certainly the beauty all around us encourages us to look up and notice how fortunate we are.

We have another installment of the Almanac, with a slightly different take on a well-loved and well-worn idea that emerged from the heart and mind of Hope.

I bring it to you with gratitude and satisfaction that I can lift that responsibility from her shoulders as she and Paul go on a great adventure for the month of May … and beyond.

I have a long history as an editor at a daily newspaper. Putting the Almanac together brings back many memories of copyediting and laying out newspaper pages in Kansas for many years. It’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together with pieces that morph and change as new bits of information are squeezed in at the last minute. But here, there are no pressmen becoming impatient as I bump up against a midnight deadline. Just the expectations of Common Grounders who want their beloved Almanac and its timely information at the end of each month.

And here it is. Enjoy the friendly faces of our wonderful community and the freshness of April as we move into the beautiful, weaving sweetness of May!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The April Almanac Has A New Design!

Appealing April Almanac

The Spring season that is taking shape all about us, that will surprise us every day to come, is the product of a winter’s long night.  It’s the outworking of our hopes and dreams.  For who among us has not wished – hard – for spring?  And who among us has not made our mark in some way on what is soon to be born? 
            Hope Horton, Essay on the Vernal Equinox, 2013

With the unfurling of Spring comes a new look for the Almanac.  Roshana Ariel has created an artful and inviting design to tell the evolving story of Common Ground Ecovillage with freshness, clarity and beauty.  Meetings and community events follow newsletter items from our Circles and members.  Roshana and Hope would like to hear your thoughts about this new format.  Please email them at roshanamail@gmail.com and hopematrix@fastmail.com.

We are so grateful to Roshana for offering her seasoned publication skills in the service of this community and hope you’ll feel inspired by what you see to bring your unique gifts to this growing enterprise.  May the irresistible impulse of Spring rouse you to act on your dreams and make your mark where it matters most. 

See you at Common Ground

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Majestic March 2024 Almanac

Majestic March 2024 Almanac

Hope is … an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
― Vaclav Havel (contributed by Anthony Weston)

Dear friends,

If you were to walk the Streamside Trail through the woods today, you would see a very un-Springlike scene.  The ground is grim with ash and devoid of undergrowth save for a smattering of Christmas Ferns.   There’s the tang of smoke in the air and your steps stir up grey dust from charred pine straw.  Scorched branches lay awry on the forest floor.   You marvel that this burned landscape belies the quickened growth below, awakened by fire long suppressed, recalling its original nature and poised to arise. 

Such is the state of about 20 acres of forest and fields, lit into new life by a carefully controlled February burn.  Such a perilous process requires a community to undertake, and we had people aplenty show up and help out.  Open this Almanac for a greater glimpse into this and other landmark events that are bringing us ever closer to outworking our values and visions on this land.

For example, our Conservation Easement grant application is complete, and the Eno River Association submitted it to the NC Land and Water Fund for consideration.  We are prepared to commit 63 acres of waterways and woodlands into perpetual preservation because this is what our hearts tell us to do.  Sadly, what we value most has been appraised for a fraction of what we paid for it, exactly because we have striven to protect large portions of this land from sprawling development and timber extraction from day one. 

Hence the quote above.  It inspires us to keep going; keep doing what’s most needed; keep deepening relationships with each other and the land.  It’s the only thing that makes sense in a world on fire.

See you at Common Ground

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fruitful February 2024 Almanc

Fruitful February 2024 Almanac

Dear Friends,

Spring is coming.  Though it’s yet mid-winter, Earth is waking from her winter somnolence and quickening the ever-ready forces of Nature.  Daylight, which bottomed out just six weeks ago at the Winter Solstice, is rising with the returning sun, like a glowing magnet high in the sky that pulls all of creation up along with her.  Whatever else is happening in the human world, we cannot fetter this great and fierce force that will soon animate all that appears dead to us, but is really simply resting under hushed brown and grey veils.   

Common Ground has been planting seeds of vision, creativity, and endeavor for many years now.  We cannot know for certain what will come of all we have sown.  But we know for sure that we will keep tending this dream and keep responding to what we’re learning.  This Almanac is an invitation to you to join us in this beautiful experiment.  

Spring is coming, revealing wonders, surprises and delights every day.  Let’s go through this gateway together. 

See you at Common Ground.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 2024 Almanac, Year in Review

January 2024 Almanac, Year in Review

Keep some room in your heart for the Unimaginable  —Mary Oliver

Dear friends, It’s winter, and night outpaces the day.  Winter is a season of stillness, dormancy, and hibernation, the life force retreating within and below, holding its breath in the space between death and life while spinning the invisible threads that weave Spring’s emergent pattern in ways that we may attempt to influence yet cannot predict or control.  Winter is a time to dream; to loosen our grasp on our certainties and open a space to host seeds of new life that are as yet unknown and unseen.    

As this Almanac reveals, Common Ground continues to become itself through the creativity, initiative, love, and longings of its members. The farm team and friends have outdone themselves this past year, cultivating ever more life-giving food and vibrant educational offerings.  We have recently discovered a new way of proceeding with our village development that may well fulfill our dream of living on the land.  Our long-held intention to conserve large portions of our waterways and forests may come to fruition through a grant process shepherded by the Eno River Association.   And CGEV is at the hub of the new Triangle Prescribed Burn Association which will enable us to bring the restorative power of fire to our forests and fields. 

Though it feels discouraging to not yet be living together on the land, it’s vital to celebrate all that we have, all we’ve done, and all that we aspire to become.  We’ve got a big vision and continue to lean into wants to happen next.   We hope you’ll feel moved to contribute in some way to the emergence of this life-giving project. 

See you at Common Ground

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dreaming December Almanac

Dreaming December Almanac

It isn’t more light we need.  It’s putting into practice what light we already have.  When we do that, wonderful things will happen within our lives and within our world.  –Peace Pilgrim

Dear friends,

The Winter Solstice is nearly upon us and Earth is taking her final tilt away from the Sun.  Though the days will again lengthen and warm the ground, we are now approaching the eye of Winter with its deep mysteries, veiled truths, and hushed rhymes.  Winter drives us down into our bones, into to the marrow of things unseen, and into the essence of what is yet to become.  It is a time to reflect and give thanks for what has come to pass and dream into what’s next. 

Common Ground Ecovillage is the product of the vision, resources, and actions of countless people over many years.  We are on the cusp of discerning a new direction that is a result of so much collective learning, growing, and discerning about what wants to happen here and what’s possible to achieve.  As this Almanac reflects, we continue to be inspired by all that’s embodied in the land and the longings that we each hold in our hearts.  

Though the path ahead is not yet clear, it is illuminated by all who have shown up and offered their time, creativity, passion, skills and money to keep this dream alive.  Thank you to everyone who is a part of this journey—past, present, and future.   

See you at Common Ground

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nurturing November Almanac, 2023

Japanese autumn leaves at night background watercolor

Nurturing November Almanac

The true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped. 
–Ancient Kintsugi quote

We’re halfway to the Winter Solstice and all is going to ground, temperatures sinking, darkness pressing, daylight draining as the sun’s stipend of shine creeps south.  The remains of summer’s riches are descending into winter’s underground vault—but not without a final spectral extravagance of fall hues and root crops.  On the farm, it’s time to dig out the sweet potatoes that burgeon below ground, each one a surprise package filled with golden sustenance for the scarcity ahead.  

In cultures the world over, this is a time of the year to honor the dead, remember our ancestors, grieve our losses and mend our spirits through sweet memory and tender togetherness.  Katsuigi’s phrase above reminds us that brokenness is an essential element of life.  Things don’t last or work out the way we might hope.  Expectations are foiled.  Dreams fade.  So how can this be the beginning, not the end?  The start of something yet more beautiful that beckons new energy and finds unforeseen forms?  

We’re asking ourselves these questions at Common Ground.  After years of ardent effort, a viable path forward to living on the land still seems out of reach.  It’s very hard to be in this place of unknowing, month after month, year after year.  And it’s all too easy to judge harshly, become weary of the whole thing, and lose heart.  Yet, as this Almanac reveals, we persist because this precious land and community call us to continue. 

It can help to dip into deep time and remember that we are not even a blip on the cosmic screen.  We’re living wildly improbable human lives, each a walking miracle, born of the fathomless and inscrutable creativity of the universe.  So let’s live into that reality and dare to keep dreaming, together.

See you at Common Ground

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Opportune October 2023 Almanac

Opportune October Almanac

It’s as if we’re always preparing
for something.  The endless roll of the earth
ripening us.
            From Late August, by Mary Chivers

We are entering October—a time of harvest which brings the last year’s cycle to a close.  Daylight is waning and the forces of Nature draw downward, fold inward, as a prelude to Winter’s dreamtime.  The Harvest Moon marks a natural new year, a time to celebrate and give thanks for all the bounty and sustenance which the Earth has bestowed upon us for yet another spin around the Sun. 

At Common Ground, our motivation to become an agrarian ecovillage is strong.  This Almanac is full of news and many ways to engage with each other and the land.  We hope you’ll come to the Fall Celebration and Education Weekend on October 21-22, which will offer a gateway into what life together on this land can be like from learning and working to playing and feasting.  

We’re making it up as we go along, working with the currents and flows of What Is as we strive towards What Can Be.  Endeavoring to find the sweet spot that strikes a balance among the many factors in play that will illumine, like today’s Harvest Supermoon, a beautiful and synergistic pathway forward. 

See you at Common Ground.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment