Spring is coming at its usual unsteady pace. Some days, blustery wind blows warm and thick; other days dawn with a twist of frost in the air and ice underfoot. Spring reminds us that no progress is linear or without risk. Sometimes, like oak leaves still encased in buds, you can hold tight; sometimes, like the red maple trees, it’s time to burst out of what confines you and give your gifts of beauty and aliveness, whatever may come.
We’re doing a bit of each at CGEV this Spring. Waiting for YOU to invest in this vision and say YES to co-creating a life-giving space for generations to come. AND, bursting with activities, ideas, projects, to connect us with each other and the land to bring about the vision of an agrarian ecovillage that will address the imperatives of our time.
Well, it takes a village to build one and you are just in time. May this Calendar/Newsletter inspire you to show up, pitch in, and experience community-in-motion. We’ll be welcoming you. Your friends at Common Ground Ecovillage
P.S. For those of you who contributed photos for this calendar, apologies if you were not credited–Hope lost track!
Walk anywhere on the land near water these days and you’ll be serenaded by Spring Peepers. They are tiny but, oh my, they sound a stupendous chorus! And daffodils, crocuses, red maple magenta blossoms, spring beauty–they are all popping up FAST as late Winter tussels with Spring. The season is calling us to be awake and aware, for all that lies dormant will soon emerge.
At Common Ground Ecovillage, seeds we planted long ago (and have carefully tended and amply watered) are sprouting as our village and farm rapidly attract those who will help bring all to fruition. We hope you’ll pour over this Calendar and find what inspires you to show up–on the land and/or on Zoom–and add your unique voice, talents, and rhythms to this Ecovillage chorus.
We are small, yet we can make a mighty noise in a world crying for justice, harmony and right relationship with each other and the land.
Though there’s a cold wind blowing outside, our hearts are warm as we pull together to realize our vision of an agrarian ecovillage. There truly has never been a better time to join CGEV. Momentum is building and reservation forms to live in the village are coming in fast.
It takes a village to build one, and we’re thrilled to welcome new members who value this community and wish to help shape and realize its mission. If you think you’d like to be a part of what’s happening here, then don’t hold back.
At Common Ground Ecovillage, we have reason to be excited about 2022. Want to know why? Read all about here.* This issue is a year-in-review, with links to stories and photos from each of our fantastic Circles.
There’s never been a better–or more important–time to join Common Ground Ecovillage. CGEV aims to a place where people who want to forge a more sustainable, more healthy, more connected path can find a home. If this sound like you, then we invite you to jump on in and start learning what this vision is all about. Get to know the people who have put CGEV in a position to realize our dream of a co-operative village and farm. We’d love to meet you and see how you can fit in this picture.
It’s a new year. Time to begin! We hope to see you soon.
This fundraising letter* from the Foundation for Intentional Communities came my way a few days ago and struck a chord. There’s a truth spoken here; that the growing polarities in our society will not be reconciled by seeking sameness, and that intentional communities have a vital role to play in creating spaces where we can live amongst differences, to learn from each other, and to stay in relationship even when we disagree.
If this were easy to do, our world would look very different. In the 10 years since we’ve been developing our community, we’ve tried to lean into our conflicts and come out the other side enlarged. There have been some wonderful hits and tragic misses. Nonetheless, it’s a vision we continue to try to actualize as we seek to build the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.**
In this wintry time of enveloping darkness, we hope you’ll come and experience some communal warmth and genuine connection with others at Common Ground–whether in-person or from afar. How about taking a look at the December issue and choosing just one morsel, if you like, and see how it tastes and feels to you?
There’s something different about autumn on the land. The light is different. During the day everything is golden as if bathed in the glow of the sun’s low flame. But as the sun sets and day turns to dusk, things get dark quick. The trees that draw the horizon line turn black in silhouette. I don’t remember that about summer evenings; it seemed like there was more light even as the sun was setting. I feel myself retreating earlier as well, spending more time in reflection and coziness. Funnily enough though I also find myself reaching out more for connection. I look to the plants around me and realize I’m not so different after all. As the temperatures get colder, they begin to put precious energy into their roots rather than into new growth, flowers, or fruit. As my initial internship with Common Ground winds slowly to a close in the coming weeks I find myself desiring to put energy into setting roots here for perhaps another season, rather than buzzing off to the next new thing. Like the delectable persimmons that have been nourishing my taste buds, I am finding life keeps sweetening right where I am and the beauty of building relationship to place.
I am reminded of a seed lesson I learned from Doug earlier in the summer about stratification and scarification. Some seeds need to go through a dormancy period before they can properly germinate and ultimately sprout to their fullest potential. So, too, do we and our relationships need to pause and go inward to bring forth new life. Other seeds need to be scratched a little bit to break through the hard exterior shell in order to germinate. Only then can they break through to spread their leaves. It takes another being whether that be a human, a stone in the soil, or another animal to exfoliate or scarify the seed. So too we need each other to push through our self- and society-imposed barriers. We need both the loving nudges and sometimes the abrasive challenges of community to blossom.
Speaking of blossoming, I continue to revel in the fullness and abundance of the garden even in the colder season. I’ve found in my time here on the farm that farming in this way is more than a job or occupation but is really a way of life. I see myself more and more reflected in the food we are growing, in the relationships we are tending, and the land we are occupying. I have really begun to love the way life on the farm has spilled out into other aspects like fostering pollinator habitat, cultivating the perennial patch, and tending to the trails and land structures. I am inspired by the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of the folks in this community I get to work with in all the above. This furthers my desire to engage in deeper more meaningful and creative ways to foster my own role in Common Ground beyond my time and title as the farm intern.
As the tendrils of time wrap around once again, we will see how well the seeds I am planting in this community come to fruition in the seasons to come!
Black walnuts fallen to the ground (photo by Jessica Cudney)
As daylight diminishes and darkness draws us in, it’s a time to deepen into and nourish that which matters most. Our community enters the month of November with a green light to apply for financing for our limited-equity housing cooperative. Okay, so this is wonderful news! It also means that many pieces must come together before we will succeed. Your commitment and participation at this stage is incredibly important. So have a look at the newsletter, read all about what this pre-development phase is going to involve, find where you fit in this picture, and pitch in as you are able.
The table is laid and the food is hot. We’ll hope you’ll join in the feast that is Common Ground Ecovillage.
October is “Owl Month.” It’s a time when they are very actively and vocally establishing their winter territories. Owls have long been associated with wisdom and they can also see in the dark–capacities very useful for us CGEV members as we continue to manifest our most heartfelt visions, even when the way seems shrouded.
In this season of lengthening shadows, brilliant displays of color, and growing chill, we’ll warm each other with our dreams, stories, and actions. Click here* and be dazzled by the array of life-giving options to learn, grow, work, play, receive and embrace the unfolding mystery of it all–together.
As sweet September rolls in on the crisp autumnal breeze, I am beginning to reflect on the rich relationships this community has offered to me. I think about my intentions from the beginning of my internship some three and half months ago and so much has changed. My body has begun to cycle with the seasons, waking earlier with the sun, craving sleep as the darkness descends (despite continuing to stay up too late watching the stars). I survived the summer heat with no AC in the loft of the barn with no problem–I’d say I actually came to embrace and enjoy the sunshine as well as the reprieve of the nearby trails and pond.
In between and in the midst of my farm workdays, trail meanderings, and recent bonfires beautiful threads of relationships have been cultivated. Through my role in the member bios project, I have gotten the privilege of interviewing several community members and gotten to know some of the stories and deeper layers of their lives. (If you haven’t already filled out the bio form, do so here!). Participating in community workdays, joining in on the “Bee Crew” through land stewardship circle, and teaching yoga classes at the Nest have also provided spaces to connect and weave my interests, curiosities, and passions into this community and to likewise receive the support, friendship, and guidance from others which has been invaluable in making this place feel like a home away from home.
Integrating myself into an already established (yet forever evolving) community has brought with it ample opportunity for story sharing and importantly story listening. As the seasons begin to change and we are asked to create new rhythms I am encouraged to explore more deeply the history of this land, the stories she holds of this community and the ones before it. I am urged to continue to tend both to the human and more than human relationships that have blossomed here this summer and continue seeking ways of contributing myself to the soil of Common Ground.
If anyone has stories they know from the history of this piece of land and/or resources to find more of this information I would love to compile them! Feel free to share with me in person or via email! firstname.lastname@example.org
In what direction is Autumn spinning you this September?
An abundance of Ringless Honey mushrooms (photo by Jessica Cudney)
This month, I’ve been braking for mushrooms. Since the hard rain a bit ago, the steamy ground has expelled fungi, shooting up all around. In contrast, human events were few and far between as many Common Grounders took a collective exhale to rest and recharge. Still, there’s plenty to see and say and know in the Calendar & Newsletter.* We hope you’ll be inspired to take a look, save some dates, and turn out in September as you are able. STARTING WITH…the weekend events on the land this weekend, September 4 & 5. Want to learn about biochar? Now’s your chance. Better yet, come around to connect with others and turn your hand at whatever beckons. Maybe find a quiet spot in the woods by the creek and breathe in the timeless peace all around. Wendell Berry puts it far more lyrically:
Sabbatha VI Sit and be still until the time of no rain you hear beneath the dry wind’s commotion in the trees the sound of flowing water among the rocks, a stream unheard before, and you are where breathing is a prayer.
Wishing you beauty unfurling all around,
Hope, for Common Ground Ecovillage