Rae, another CA-native Rabbit, using the big solar oven in the courtyard to make shepherd’s pie. Photo by Aaron.

Hello! It’s Stephen and I’m back on farm after being away in Los Angeles for six months, and I’d forgotten what summer really means. Stepping out of the airport: hot and sticky—why did I wear pants? How soon can I take them off?

And arriving here, at Dancing Rabbit: so much greenery and life! Plants shooting up wherever they can. Birds, so many birds. And bugs, yes. The invisible, getting-in-your-skin and itching kind too. It is so not California. And with all of that, and with seeing everyone here again, and with our house—Casa Caterpillar—it feels very good to be back.

The day before my arrival Alline sent out an email that the Mercantile was making biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast the next day—I love Alline’s biscuits and gravy!—but alas, I was arriving very late that night. But Alline was awesome and we struck a deal: I could buy two pint-jars full of it. (Not all for me! To share with Ironweed. But Tereza was sick, Ted just took Aurelia to summer camp, Sara is gluten-free, Danielle is out of town, and Chelsea and Kelsey are vegetarian… so it is all for me!)

And good news! Alline is making more biscuits and gravy tomorrow for the Earthdance Junior Farm Crew (lucky them). These high school students and recent graduates from Florissant and Ferguson, MO will be here for a few days (thanks to grants!) and, lucky me, Alline is going to teach me her secret.

A whole group of visitors has just left from their one-to-three weeks on farm as part of the Visitor Program. I talked with a few of them at the end of their stay, and I liked them. And it seemed they were inspired by their stay here. Hopefully we’ll see them again.

I just missed the yoga retreat, though, which I heard was great. Especially the restorative yoga sessions when, during shavasana, they sang kirtan. I’m sad I missed that. I love kirtan, and my favorite yoga pose is shavasana. Maybe when I’m sleeping tonight I’ll rise through those songs, transporting through the worlds, shavasana to the extreme, extreme balance, quiet mind, mindfulness…enlightenment…no, what? That was just a dream? Darn.

Speaking of a dream, last weekend I kayaked the Los Angeles River (for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, Google it). And it was surprisingly beautiful and green (albeit scattered with trash and shopping carts). And then, in the middle of that busy day, driving back in the car in Los Angeles traffic, I got on a phone call (hands-free speakerphone) with Dancing Rabbit’s Board of Directors (I’ve been on the board for about a year now) and it felt very strange to be at that meeting while driving a car. But, as I’ve gotten used to Los Angeles, it felt very normal as well.

I’ve actually grown to really like those calls, discussing various logistical topics and theoretical ones; and this time, while I was listening to the other board members and CSCC Executive Director Danielle talking, and while I was watching the millions (literally?) of cars surrounding me, basically stopped in traffic, I thought: what a strange mix of worlds we live in—I live in.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October; the next is Saturday, July 22nd at 1 pm. Reservations not required. Tours are free, though donations to help us continue our educational and outreach efforts are gratefully accepted. For directions, call the office at 660-883-5511 or email us at dancingrabbit@ic.org. To find out more about us, you can also check out our website: www.dancingrabbit.org.