Sometimes it feels a little challenging to answer the question: “What’s life like in the Ecovillage?” Primarily, I am afraid of sounding like a cliché! And secondly, we’ve met so many people who are waiting to move into their Ecovillage homes, or are just starting their design journey, and we feel the frustration of the wait for them. So I had these sentiments in mind when I was invited to write an article from a resident’s point of view, and decided to simply write a list of things that are happening here in the Ecovillage.
- We recently had our first Cluster 1C gathering by our newly donated fire pit under a full moon. The kids played inside the community shed, hopped along the rocks, worked up blisters on the monkey bars and then shared pizza and hot chocolate as they wound down. Residents from other clusters came along and each person gave a brief word about where they’d come from and any hopes for the future. The kids were encouraged to contribute and rattled off lists of their best friends in the Ecovillage.
- I’ve realised I can see the monkey bars in our cluster from my kitchen window, and the kids are just loving the ‘independence’ of being able to take themselves there without crossing any roads, many times a day!
- Leaving the house last week in the morning, my morning wave to our neighbours had me sharing that I’d lost my voice and all of us had a cold. That afternoon a knock-your-socks off delicious curry arrived in a big pot, with the note ‘thought you needed this’. In turn, we had the time and energy to contribute to a few meal trains that had been set up for a couple of families currently in tough situations.
- Another neighbour invited my partner, Aron, to do some paid building work next door: a welcome addition to the family budget. (Aron is the primary carer of our two kids, so we weren’t sure how it was going to work.) Two Ecovillage families shared the care of our kids for three days that week and this week has been our turn to reciprocate.
- Those of us with dogs seem to sync up for a walk on the weekends, often ending up at the Stingray Dam in a sea of kids and dogs.
- Our kids attend classes in town, as do others in the Ecovillage and we’ve just started alternating the drop-off, giving the parents an hour or two to themselves.
- On the WEV Community Facebook Group, I asked for some feedback on a heat pump dryer and now a fellow resident has loaned me hers from storage. So lovely!
- My family, who number more than our petite guest capacity, recently came for a visit. Our neighbours, who were away at the time, offered Dad their home to stay in. He was so grateful to be able to eat dinner with us and then walk the whole 15m to bed!
- Produce we have been gifted thus far includes pumpkins, sunflowers, greens, zucchini, jam, chutney, plants, eggs, home-made bread.
- We have been loaned tools, a trailer, the use of a clothes dryer, toys and dress-ups.
- Our 7.5-year-old has started a weekly book swap with our neighbour and is delighted in a curated choice he would never have chosen for himself at the library.
- Our son does weekly pottery and ukulele lessons, both with teachers who are Ecovillagers.
- Our neighbours have purchased a few things in bulk that we have bought from them. I’m so grateful to benefit from other people’s organisational skills.
- Busy bees on neighbours’ houses, painting, shared work on EUAs, carpentry and fruit tree pruning, dogsitting and housesitting.
- Cluster sheds slowly filling with useful furniture, crockery, big chai pots, tools, shared lawnmowers (borrowed and returned with fuel.)
In short, we are bloody loving our life here! Our kids are happy, their lives are full, we are forming some really strong friendships with people whose company we so enjoy and we’re learning so much. Life feels rich and abundant. And it’s not even Spring yet!