Thursday, May 1, 2008
Building with Buzzards and Eagles
My name is Wade, and I’ve accepted the role as the Natural Building coordinator here at the ecovillage training center. Life here on the site is rich with dynamic energies & plenty solid work to be done. As our team of staff members came together in early March, we knew we had the makings of something tremendous this season. As the month of March elapsed via our strivings to formulate our group’s vision and prepare our gardens to provide a good lot of sustenance, we suddenly noticed how soon April was coming, bringing with it courses to give and apprentices to build with.
April showers brought us a very welcomed 7 inches of rain during the first week of the month, which just so happened to be the same week that all the myriad preparations for the Natural Building course became the requisite. I found myself with more physical responsibilities than I’d had in a good long while, mired deep in mud on all sides. That’s precisely when and where I knew I belonged. It was a combination of the feeling you get when you are able perform a task with strength enjoyably, and a generous helping of support coming to me from all angles. A collaboration of apprentices (gardeners and builders), early arrival course participants, neighbors (Biko teaching stone work), family members (Will coming through with straw bales), and, yes, even bloggers brought about the effort we needed to get April started off right.
Teaching Natural Building is a challenging task, no doubt. Yet expert builders, architects, and storytellers, primed the apprentices and I with the know-how we needed to develop an effective working rhythm. We were able to accomplish quite a bit of building in a short span, and I learned an awful lot about how to coordinate a cooperative building project. Meanwhile, in the midst of all our cobbing, plastering, carpentry, adobe, earth bagging, etc., we were able to get in a few awesome field trips (i.e. canoing, botanizing, visiting a mentor builders home site…), and we got to know each other quite well.
I can’t help but interpret those heavy early Spring rains and bald eagle sightings as good omens. Now that we’re out of the mucky muck beginning of April, when seldom a leave was on the oak trees, there are bounteous gardens promising fulfilling harvests, lotus blossoms in the swampy pond, and a brand new batch of apprentices to join up with in building our new dawn here at the ecoville. I can foresee great things coming together here this season. I must keep reminding myself that sailing on the horizon of the future has its inherent risks. As the outlook becomes more clear, our free reign to create will surely only come proportionally to the amount of responsibility that we take up for it.