Across my neighbor’s yard, there is a tree that seems to be watching me. It is so still, so solid, and always growing. Its trunk and branches may be still, but beneath the soil, its roots reach out to exchange nutrients with the soil. The concept of roots could be applied in an interesting way to my own life here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, having just moved for the third time since my mother and sister and I arrived at the village. A dance of musical houses has increased in speed recently with the influx of new residents. My name is Prairie, the one and only fifteen-year-old in this neck of the woods, and I’m here to deliver this week’s Dancing Rabbit update.
I remember quite clearly our massive U-Haul attempting to bank a turn onto Circle Drive, then backing up to Bluestem, our first home. Since we don’t have regular traffic in the village, the roads are small, which made it a challenging maneuver.
After living in Bluestem for six months, we moved to Casa Caterpillar. But, the owners, Stephen and Erica, have returned to prepare it for sale. So, we moved across the way to another lovely house called Woodhenge (thank you, Rae and Aaron!). It is a beautiful work of art, made of massive oak beams that support the two-story structure, straw bales for walls and insulation, and all of it plastered with cob (a mixture of clay, straw, and sand). Woodhenge was built over a span of four years with countless helping hands.
On Halloween night we gathered for our own unique tour of the village. Adults and children were in costumes and we paraded together from one stop to another. This annual event is known as the Hollerween Progressive Fiasco. The night began with a pop into Critterville where the activity was bowling with hedgeapples. Bobbing for turnips turned a lot of heads and many of the kids emerged wet from that tempting tub, their mouths successfully clamped upon a watery root. The next stop featured a roaring bonfire with marshmallows galore and hot cider for all.
I dressed as a wandering wizard and running barefoot through the night, my lonely wand jumped from my pocket somewhere along the path. My powers lost, I hustled over to Thistledown, the kitchen co-op where my family eats. This turned out to be an epic snack party with a snack dip strategically placed near a doll’s bottom (to appear like diarrhea). The concept was not pleasing but the goo was made with a delicious, salty spice. There were also chocolate “rats” and other such spookies.
A dance party followed in La Casa. A maniac zombie appeared and chased the children around. But, in the end, the tables turned. With my hesitant addition to their growing numbers, a collaborative “assault” was executed, and we took down that ghastly ghoul. After the children cleared the premises, the tour proceeded to Ironweed kitchen for a game of Mafia and brought the Progressive Fiasco to a hollering close. The night was free of candy but filled with laughter and snacks.
These days, I can no longer walk barefoot outside and be comfortable for more than a minute. The tree across my neighbor’s yard is losing its leaves but it still watches me with its steady gaze. My own roots have taken hold in this community and I have a feeling they will always stay strong, regardless of the number of times we uproot and move.