Cat Liberation and the Persuit of the Ideal

Cobbing on Kyle's new wallIn the midst of a late heat dome slowly approaching northeast Missouri, it is with great honor that one of the critters’ latest work exchangers, (That’s me, Clare!) is here with a small update on the many affairs and goings-on in this small corner of Dancing Rabbit. This summer so far has presented a steady flux of community members passing through daily affairs. It seems in this constant state, that things may change at a pace faster than what a small, out-of-the-way community is expected to encounter but folk’s adaptability to such situations never falters. Earlier this month two work exchangers left, and two more arrived all within the frame of the ending and subsequent re-start of a new visitor session. I admire every permanent resident’s ability to handle this unexpected, and almost constant social change greatly, for in the span of three weeks I myself feel as if I am hardly scratching the surface of what it means to be a member of such a unique community. As Caleb, Kyle and myself make steady progress on house construction it may look surprising to guests how easygoing our temperaments are maintained even in the face of multiple challenges. In surface appearances, our music leaks steadily through the trees, neighbors seek advice, and any tension arising from personal struggles is mitigated by hard work for distraction or the reassurance of consistent check-ins. I imagine there are few other experiences for one to learn basic tenants and practices of natural building that are as forgiving or accommodating as the one that us Critters can provide. However with a deeper examination of our atmosphere, Dancing Rabbit is by no means a place for ‘easy’ work, or a social experiment that has obtained full and complete practices of its many ideals. After all, how often does an intentional community come to find themselves in the midst of urgently incorporating graveyard planning into the same day of a 6 year old’s birthday celebration? The slow settling of humans into a permanent residence is a nuanced process that presents innumerable unexpected events that will surprise many. Even I was tickled at the coinciding of “Cat Liberation Day” following Bastille day. The freeing of cats to roam around the village after the season for ground nesting birds is over while attempts to overthrow governments occur on the same day only increases my appreciation for humanity and our unique conditions of coexistence. We have experienced other intriguing occurrences such as news of returning and now married former work exchangers, the end to a micro-drought, and the expectancy of mothers both human and livestock. My hope is that all of these great struggles, and simultaneous rewarding moments are conveyed to all those who pass through this community, even if it is just for a day. Kyle’s brick wall is almost complete, but this house, just like daily attempts at all of our communal ideals, is simply a fraction of the whole that members constantly strive, claw and struggle to achieve.


If you haven’t already heard the news, our fancy millennial Instagram account provides aesthetic updates into our daily lives. Follow us as @dancing.rabbit.ecovillage for general Rabbit updates or @nemofarmer for specific critter visuals
A bountiful berry harvest

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