Okay, so as soon as I returned home from the Tool Share Move, I walked into the back yard to find a number of Green Acres neighbors and friends busy making the flower boxes for three of the Green Acres signs being created now. Finally. After months of waiting since the drama of the successful grant to cover their cost. One of those involved in the grant process, neighbor John (on left, below), heads up this afternoon’s work party. He had told me earlier that even though I signed up, I probably didn’t need to help, because there were enough people. Good!
Here’s a view of the same (with another neighbor, Peggy, and friend Leah) patio scene that so recently held the infamous Halloween Party with Oracle and Scary (True) Stories.
BTW: the patio used to be the basketball court. This IS Indiana, “hoosier” land, after all. Years ago, we hacked out some of the concrete, created hugelkulture beds inside the holes, and used the concrete, called “urbanite,” to define garden beds and line the pond. Permaculture, permanent culture, in action!
And it’s not just to see and use “stuff” that’s around us in new ways, reducing and reusing. Permaculture is, in essence, relationships: the self to the inner life, the self to other selves, people to the natural world, and elements of the natural world with each other. ALL DEEPLY INTERWOVEN. Unlike easily disturbed and ruined monocultures, the intent of permaculture is to create and enhance resilience — the ability to roll with the punches, to bounce back from whatever. A very useful skill and attitude to have during this era of accelerating climate change.
Okay. That’s the backyard project. Now the front yard. Where podmate Brie and neighbor Jen Trout had been emailing back and forth to create today’s event, the painting of the Little Free Library boxes. Three of them, it turns out. (I had thought only two.) Two for kids, one of the kids’ boxes for the hospital, the other for Green Acres.
Jen Trout lives a stone’s throw from Jen Naylor and her kids Jamey and Sam. Georgia, with whom I have had a long-standing neighborhood activist relationship, walked over with them. Jen Naylor sometimes walks across the street with eggs for Georgia, and Georgia takes care of their chickens when they’re out of town . . .
Jamey starts to paint one of the boxes yellow. Georgia, who the last few years has suffered with Parkinsons’ disease, gets the throne.
Group leader Brie congratules Jamey on the beautiful job he did.
Neighbor Patrick, who I’ve just met, and who has gone to get a tool they needed, is now back. Energized, in blue, he strides to the front, saying he “wants to do something important.” The remark startles me. Isn’t that what we all want, to “do something important”? To feel useful? And especially, when we work together, for a common goal?
I do hope Patrick starts coming to our weekly Community Dinners on Thursdays. This week, Mexican! We’ve already got it mapped out, the six of us in the two-house ecopod each deciding which dish to make to create that full-fledged Mexican dinner: beans, rice, quacamole and chips, enchiladas, tacos with all the fillings, flan. YES! This week, I’m the “lead,” which means I not only decide the theme, I also set up and clean up — and hopefully, get others to help me.
Okay, back to the front yard, where things are also moving right along.
Okay, they’re done in the back yard. Peggy puts on her jacket and comes out to find Georgia, whose color she matches!
The two of them haven’t seen each other in years. Georgia asks Peggy if she still has some of those Green Acres denim bags she made. YES! And Peggy, who tells us about her eight-year-long ordeal with heart disease, exhorts Georgia to stop giving her power away to doctors and instead, take charge of her own health. “Your body will tell you what to do,” she says, fervently, as if she knows. She does know. She did that. Now in her mid-70s, Peggy says she hasn’t felt as good as she does now in her whole life.” WOW! I had no idea those phenomenal words would come out of Peggy’s mouth.
Truly, we are beginning to wake up. And for some of us, it takes a medical “condition” to stir the juices of our deeper aliveness.
Aha! Podmate Katarina has now arrived. Seeing her together with Georgia, I think “Witchy Women”!
The men arrive to dig the hole. Shawn (Jen Naylor’s husband, kid’s dad) and Forest (Jen Trout’s partner).
Here’s the little library that went in the hole in this front yard, ready to go on its post. Decorated by Brie earlier. The other (kids’) one for the neighborhood? We’re not yet sure where it will go.
Final photo. Ben is the only one left from the back yard project. Jen T. and Kat anchor the end of the front yard project. Peggy walked Georgia home. Jen N and her kids left to eat dinner. The two men also had to leave. Just in time. It’s starting to get dark.
The details of both projects remain unfinished. Final work parties this week!