Yesterday morning, as the waning old moon closed in on its conjunction with the Sun in Gemini, I went downtown, along with podmate Brie and neighbors Jen, Mariella, and her kids Asiri and Juachim. We were heading for City Hall, and the annual “Blooming Neighbors” event put on by HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development), under the direction of Vickie Provine, the same wonderful woman who shepherded our Green Acres Sign Saga through to completion this spring.
Here’s the poster for the event.
This year the threat of rain drove the event inside City Hall. Which was fine since networking among neighborhoods gets more intense inside a small space.
That’s us, GANA (Green Acres Neighborhood Association) on the left.
Each of the — how many, twenty? more? — neighborhoods that signed up got a table, where we were free to display whatever helps us convey the current message and activities of our neighborhoods.
Three days earlier, Brie had organized a late afternoon party to create various display items. I had printed out all the exopermaculture blog posts that documented the sign saga process, and Katarina, who headed up the group that made it happen, created a cover for the folder.
Brie went through all sorts of photos from this year and made a poster showing various activities —
— including our Community Dinners which now run weekly, ten months of the year and draw in a dozen to two dozen people for meals, music, art, sometimes a speaker and or a camp fire, and ongoing intergenerational connections among neighbors and friends.
Plus a tri-fold, for a backdrop —
At the event itself, Mariella and the kids took first turn behind the table —
Then Jen and Brie took their turn at this brief, but intense, two hour event. I briefly sat there with them (notice my very faded GANA t-shirt) —
— and then went off to network with other neighborhoods.
I took with me our new business card, fresh off the press this week, which shows both our intent, and the transitional nature of what we’re about. Check it out: www.greenacresvillage.org, “inside Green Acres Neighborhood, Bloomington Indiana.” It consolidates three separate websites, and I’ve written a new introduction for each one.
A village growing inside a neighborhood. Yes! This is OUR vision for a suburban future that works for everybody. Neighborhoods that gradually transform into villages, as they consciously work to re-establish the human connectivity that we have lost in this era when we have been driven to compete with others in a world of scarcity rather than cooperate with others in a world of abundance.
And how do we ensure abundance? In a word: PERMACULTURE. Not just of the land, but within our human communities. Permanent culture. Remembering our communion with Mother Nature and, as Native Americans would add, “all our relations.”
My networking paid off: we now have possible new partners for three further exciting initiatives that have yet to be rolled out.
Late yesterday afternoon, a young man rang the doorbell. His name is Peter, he said, and he had just taken the permaculture course in Chicago with teachers from here, including Rhonda Baird. I don’t know what Rhonda told him about us, but he wanted to see the place and learn more. So I gave him the tour. Told him he’s welcome to come and live here in the neighborhood; that I’m sure we could find a nearby room for him to rent. The more people who are drawn in to practice this vision of re-inhabiting existing suburbs, the faster and more thorough will be the transformation from a world that divides us to a world where everyone is welcomed and asked to bring their full capacity, all their talents and skills, to bear upon this great work to reclaim and revivify the commons.
Rhonda will be one of the teachers in another two-week permaculture course that starts today, at the Lazy Black Bear, one hour south.
Hey folks! Permaculture truly is the hope of the future. It’s time we realize that and put our minds, bodies and souls to this great work. What else were we born for? Why else would we as souls choose to be born during this terrifying, exciting, climactic era that forces us to choose: fear or love?
Fear contracts. Love expands.