Elena (aka “Catnip”)
I dream of global sustainability. I want to live knowing that my choices are not harming the earth or others. I want to live in harmony with life.
I grew up mostly in cities, but I got to escape to nature here and there. If my mom were still alive, she’d probably still be marveling that I remember crawling up the rocky hill behind our house in Golden, Colorado in my first year.
From the ages of six to eight I roamed semi-rural Memphis, making nearby woods my home and visiting neighbors’ horses.
In Texas, from eleven to eighteen, I explored fields, woods, and creek beds on horseback, at times galloping bareback across freshly plowed fields, joyously gasping for air in the racing wind of my horse’s flight over soft brown soil.
As a young adult, I no longer had parental help with the expense of keeping a horse, so my younger sister took on my spunky mare. I studied hard (Brown University, MIT), but nature’s call always tugged at me. I went into debt to learn wilderness skills in the Alaskan outback. I worked as an engineer on thin films for directing sunlight to dark corners of buildings, on optical memories, and on three-dimensional imaging. I left engineering and entrepreneurship to teach snowboarding in my home state of Colorado.
Seeking stability and more affordable land when I decided to bring a child into my life, I moved to Vermont to a rural cohousing community focused on sustainability.
After loving my four years living in cohousing, a drive for even greater sustainability and community propelled me to seek a new home. I stumbled upon Belfast, and even my daughter, only four years old at the time, recognized that this was where we wanted to be.
The town of Belfast oozes community from every corner. As the hub for many cabin dwellers and homesteaders, I knew we’d have companions in our quest to live within our fair share of the earth’s resources.
Then by coincidence (or fate?) the farm next door to my ten acres was sold. I’d been worried about who might buy it. I’d wished I could afford to buy it to protect it. Now I dream of moving to a thirty acre portion of that very farm with the bold, caring souls who make up Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage. I dream of living close with the folks who also wanted to save that farm and who have become friends over these last few years.
My daughter Cat, who is now nine (born July 2002) is looking forward to setting up tin-can-and-string phones to all her friends’ homes. Since one of my other passions is communication (NVC/Sociocracy), I fully support this endeavor!