In deep fatigue again with these nightwakings and very very early morning starts, i fell into a little wondering this morning....about how my life would be different if i still lived at Twin oaks community.
I would have peaceful regrowth woods and river instead of wild bush and wilder beach for a daily backdrop and...
...I would have intimates in my life who i have known since the early nineties. I would also have more access to dear friends who are like tribe to me. I still miss them.
...Jed would have people he is close to as primaries (people who, as part of Twin Oaks’ labour system, spend chunks of time with the kids of their choice which counts as part of their weekly work quota). I would like Jed have more of those safe special connections with other adults.
tupelo coffeehouse - art, music and theatre of an evening
...In hard times, there would be support and understanding for us. This is a biggie. I wonder about how different those difficult first months/year might have been, with meals made for us, with other women friends close by and people to love and hold the babe while i caught up on much much needed sleep.
...I would still be in contact with Willow, who i co-parented as part of the Star family until he was about three.
...I would have had more incentive to resolve a major relationship breakup and possibly, hopefully begun a beautiful friendship. (Always painful to do in intentional community. I was emotionally burnt out and chickened out of this one, no offence meant at the bravery of chickens)
the TO pond in summer
...awareness of different family structures and gender issues would be more a part of daily life for Jed and come from others too, not just me harping on.
...there would be a vibrant social scene at the doorstep if i wanted it (and Jed would be not far away if he needed me at night) – instead of me having to drive over the hill and opting out because i’m too tired.
...i had the best worklife ever when i was based at Twin Oaks, giving workshops, speaking engagements, cooking for the community on Fridays, wood delivery, kidcare, organising events...i could still have some aspects of that while being a very hands on mama. Impossible in NZ and with the support i have and living in what i have come to call ‘isolationist culture’.
want a bike? take a bike!
...active music, rituals and creativity and craftiness and wild dancing and dressing as we please and togs not required to swim in the pond or the river.
...jed would have built-in relationships like siblings with the kids in the community to eat, play and learn with. There’d be more parents to share homeschooling with.
...there’s the whole ‘it just makes sense’ ecologically to live in community thing.
...and it is safe. I guess our wee beachside ‘village’ is fairly safe too but there is something about walking the paths of Twin oaks in the dark and feeling curious about who is coming the other way, rather than fear that i haven’t found outside of intentional community.
Okay, so there’s poisonous snakes (which i happen to love), living on the poverty line (but what more do you need when you have everything?), the small fact that i burnt out from taking too much on when i lived there. There is having your say but still relinquishing some control of major decisions in honour of the desires of the majority of the commune. Hmmm. I found that hard sometimes. And having to deal with conflict within community and not being able to ‘go home’ at the end of the day to get space.
But then there’s the hugs and the loving, free bikes, sauna, extensive libraries, darkroom, 17 shared vehicles, a lot of laughter, watching the kids grow up, plenty homegrown fruit and veg, madge’s cheese, walking the land, the parties like nowhere else, wearing a sequinned balldress (when else do you get to wear one?!) while working in the hammocks office and the people. The people.
I am not dwelling. Nor do i have any regrets. I love my life today. I admit, it needs a little tweaking. I am not as inclined to run from the hard work of tweaking these days. I left Twin Oaks in a hurry and one day i will share it with Jed and make my peace with leaving.
I carry a piece of my time at Twin Oaks with me always. I love knowing a life like that is possible.