Aside from all of the factual reporting of visits to intentional communities, there is also the personal aspect of this journey that Mary and I intend to continue to communicate, thus a check-in from me on this sunny Asheville morning. We are very lucky to have rented an old Subaru wagon from a member of Earthaven at a very reasonable price, and we're happy to have the use of a car while visiting the area.
This coming Friday, we will have been on the road for six weeks, and it's been an adventuresome and action-packed six weeks, with some pretty rough spots along the way. The most difficult passage so far was the sudden and unexpected suicide of our dear friend David, a startling event that truly stopped us in our tracks and threw a proverbial wrench into our works. His death and our unexpected return to Massachusetts for his funeral seemed to take us off course, though many people pointed out to us that we could simply accept it as a part of the journey. And so it was.
Now, having left the Northeast behind, we have fully entered the South, and the friendliness and cheerfulness of people here is certainly remarkable and appreciated. Still, our progress south has been slow, and winter is catching up to us, snowing us in while at the Common Ground community, and threatening sleet and rain this weekend here in the Asheville area.
For myself, I am still living with chronic pain, and some of my other underlying ailments are present and accounted for. Truthfully, I do indeed experience periodic waves of anxiety over our state of rootlessness, feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of what we've actually done, even though I was indeed asking quite clearly to be untethered from the workaday world of work and homeownerhip (at least temporarily). And some of the vicissitudes of travel can take their toll. A good hot shower can sometimes be hard to come by, campground bathrooms and public restrooms (as well as people's homes) can be filled with clouds of toxic air "freshener". Still, six weeks out, I feel that we are hitting our stride, visiting some wonderful communities, meeting nice people who go out of their way to extend themselves to us, and seeing some beautiful sights along the way.
In terms of intentional communities, there is a lot going on out there, and we can see that there is a great deal of energy being expended on creating new ways to live in community, to build sustainably, and use fewer resources. We appreciate how hard it is to create and sustain viable community, and dropping in on people's lives and seeing how it's being done is indeed a remarkable privilege.
So, dear friends and readers, thanks for reading, thanks for your comments and encouragement, and stay tuned for further developments. We will be visiting more communities in the Asheville area over the next few days, and then we head for Tennessee and The Farm, one of the most famous intentional communities around.
As Garrison Keillor says, "be well, do good work, and keep in touch."