On this fine April morning, I sat in my living room with eight other women, five of whom were neighbors. The other three were from various “official bodies”: Sarah from the office of the IU Dean of Students; Pam, neighborhood liaison from the Bloomington PD, and Vickie, from the city’s HAND department (Housing and Neighborhood Development).
We women, the harmonizers of the universe, the ones who help, hopefully, young ones grow up to be fine human beings, sat and discussed how to work with the student revelry that occurs in our neighborhoods during Indiana University’s annual Little 500 weekend (April 24-25, 2015).
Made famous in the classic 70’s bicycling movie Breaking Away, the Little 500 Bicycle Race has been called the greatest collegiate weekend in the country, and it’s certainly one of Indiana University’s most loved traditions. If you love bicycling, you’ll want to experience this spectacle on wheels at least once! Join the more than 25,000 fans that flock to Bloomington each April to be a part of this storied tradition.
How to connect with our student neighbors? How to keep them safe while keeping ourselves sane and able to sleep at night? How to bring together student renters and permanent residents? What about cars on lawns, urinating on lawns, drunken howling, and shrieking, way-too-loud music at 2:00 AM? How to work with the police department, with the IU Dean and the IU police, and with various city offices regarding the various difficulties that arise when young, impressionable, energetic humans gather in groups, especially late at night, to fall under the sway of alcohol, drugs, music and testosterone?
As we were winding up, I mentioned that what we were doing in our meeting was very “permacultural,” in that we were making connections, instituting new kinds of relationships, in many different areas. One of the permacultural principles is that the more relationships, and the more different kinds of relationships, the stronger, more resilient the system.
The nurturing system created in my living room this morning felt so sweet, strong and resilient that we had a hard time ending the meeting — “breaking away”! Indeed, our one-hour morning session, supposedly just an informational download from police, IU and city, felt both heart-centered and mindful, held in an atmosphere of mutual listening, care and respect.
So much so that afterwards, I was not surprised to suddenly come across this beautiful video of an elephant herd, I presume of mothers, gathered to celebrate and protect a newborn baby elephant. The synchronicity felt compelling. And the video brought tears to my eyes.
On 23rd December 2014 Ex Orphan Emily returned to the Voi Stockades to give birth to her second wild born calf – Little Emma is born. Read the full story at: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org…