Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Community in action at Earthaven

The Earthaven community is wonderful in so many ways. The story of my meeting Molly Currie is a great example.

Sunday - you need to meet Molly
After the Earthaven Council meeting I observed on Sunday, one member, SC, came up and thanked me for my offer to help with one of the issues Earthaven is dealing with. We started talking about other things and eventually, with no expectation that she knew anything about natural building, I asked if she knew of any natural building learning opportunities either at Earthaven or in the Asheville area. 

She said, “Hmm… well there’s Ashevillage. Oh, and you need to meet Molly Currie. She’s not at Earthaven, but she has a local natural building company called MudStrawLove and she’s really good.” SC showed me the ‘white pages’, a local directory of contact info for people near Earthaven where I could get Molly’s contact info. 

Monday - meeting Molly
I’m out in the orchard talking with Patricia when two women, an Earthaven member named KC and a stranger walked by with a dog. KC called out, “Hey Patricia, hey Will!” We all gathered together, and before I could introduce myself, the stranger says, “Hi, I’m Will. Good to meet you!” I looked confused and she started laughing. It turns out she was actually Molly Currie walking her dog with a friend outside our orchard!

I told her that for the last 24 hours, I’d really been wanting to meet her. She told me to definitely get in touch over email or phone soon. This was crazy - I wouldn't have known to talk to Molly about natural building if I hadn't learned about her less than a day before from another Earthaven member.

After they left, Patricia said that Molly was a previous permaculture student of hers who really latched onto permaculture principles and focused on natural building. Patricia clearly had great respect for Molly, reinforcing my desire to contact her.

Tuesday morning - meeting people is easy!
I’m at the weekly Tuesday morning Coffee & Trade, a farmer’s market held in the Council hall. A stranger walks up and says, “Hi Will!” Word had gotten to her that I was at Medicine Wheel, and she knew me even before we'd met - her name is Jeannie. After introducing ourselves, we started talking about how great a community this was, where people could meet, talk and spend time with each other so easily. I told her the story of learning about and meeting Molly Currie in less than 24 hours with almost zero effort. Jeannie said that she’d recently made a list of friends she could visit very easily, especially within walking distance - and counted 150! Holy smokes!

In this kind of environment, where cars are rare and it's so easy to move around and spend time with people, you can’t help but hear about wonderful people and opportunities. That’s the sort of social wealth I’m looking for.