So what experiences in my life have gotten me to here and to being thrilled about being a part of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage?
I was born and brought up in Washington DC, and in a funny way my experience from the beginning was rural. I lived in a duplex (much like the ones we will have, but made of brick) and across the oak-lined road from my house was a fenced estate on a lawned-hill called the Chinese Embassy. Who knows who lived there, but deep in a gulch behind that fence was the wild woods that in time connected to Rock Creek. I snuck in through a hole in the fence and played Indian there. There were beaten trails that wound through the tangle. I made encampments in the roots of the over-turned trees and molded clay bowls from the sticky clay along the side of the stream. I like the earth.
When I was in fifth grade, I went to a school in Virginia that was surrounded by fields, rather like our site. I adore tended green fields.
My aunt in Connecticut remembers my fascination with farm animals. When I was four, I came to visit her and could scarcely be pried away from the bottom of her garden that bordered on Farmer Brown's fields. I like the smell of the barn and the warmth & rhythm of domesticated animals, even chickens.
In the summers, I ran barefoot over the rocks and into the woods at Ocean Point in Maine. How glorious to be outside all summer, and how marvelous was Maine and the ocean. There three generations lived together in a simple house for two months. My father, who was never up in the mornings before I left for school, presided over a full breakfast table with the whole family seated around it. And we were all there together working on stone walls, washing dishes by hand, kayaking, swimming, cleaning the house. Ocean Point, a planned community, even had a common building that was called the “casino”, where plays were staged, community suppers eaten (everyone arriving with their baskets of silverware) and where in the darkness of the great porches, the young teens hung out in the evening. I like being with 'family' of all ages going about their own business of enjoying life.
At the Virginia day school, we had a music director from Ireland, and he put on musicals and everyone was included. No need to say one couldn't really sing. We all sang. We did Noah's Flude, Christmas pageants, some thing that had Nebuchadnezzar in it that was all in Latin. You may know him. He came to Cambridge and started the Christmas Revels. His name was Jack Langstaff. I like belonging to things I wouldn't have the inclination to initiate.
When it came time to go to college, I chose to go to New England and see where my roots had been rooted. My mother was Connecticut to New York City. My father was from south of Boston. Both families had been about in New England for a long time, and I probably could have ignored it, except they named me for one of those early people and I got hooked (in my angst of wondering who I was) to look into her life to see why I could have been named after her. She was born in England and emigrated at age five to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her life has fascinated me. I have one of her wedding shoes, for goodness sake. This is a formative event and I have no idea how it brought me to the ecovillage, but history: understanding women's lives, interests me deeply. It prods me to travel and do research. I love puzzles.