Most of you have probably heard the African saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Well, after spending 2 and a half months at EVI (Ecovillage at Ithaca) – our community – I can honestly say that it took a village to host our family! Thanks to everyone at EVI we were welcomed, cared for, invited, homed and fed… we came empty handed and left with the wonderful feeling of love, joy and a rare sense of belonging in our hearts. For the past two years, I dreamt of this moment from afar, waiting for the day that I could feel a part of it all – the giving, the receiving, the sharing. I had expectations and all of them were fulfilled in abundance. The type of people who live at EVI vary drastically: Professionals, stay at home moms and dads, spiritual souls, techno geeks, crunchy granola types, meat eaters, vegans, artists, athletes, nature worshipers, church goers. They are young, old, from near and from very far. This is a place where you can maintain your individuality and still learn to cultivate relationships, gratitude, and selflessness in its purest form. Here, you can be yourself, hold on to your beliefs and still arrive to the end of the loneliness and separation that we often encounter outside of our village. Here, you can speak your mind and still feel accepted. Ecovillage is not flawless, the people who live there are not perfect… however they try to deal with their imperfections with gentle kindness, they attempt to work through them with open mindedness, equanimity and non violent communication.
Communities like these make life less sterile, teach people to be more human, permit our senses to thrive and our sensations to fly free… they shift institutionalized ideas and shake up that which is considered ‘normal’ … they soften the rough edges and disintegrate some of the nastiness of the world…they guide us towards a united ‘Us’ and away from an isolated ‘I’… they demonstrate that a better way, an unlonesome existence is possible when you look beyond your front door and learn to trust your village.
This post is dedicated to them. EVI, this post is dedicated to you:
Where does this loneliness come from?
Why does it provoke so much anxiety and fear?
These are some of the questions I have asked myself during the years, during all my years of drastic, self-doubting change; Change that has led me to think less about myself and more about those who are suffering while I am tucked warm in my bed, about unkind acts towards fellow human beings, animals and Mother Nature –some of which I myself continue to be guilty of– about wars, natural disasters, polluted air and water, waste, work and education… my children’s future.
Change is hard. It sometimes feels lonely, especially at the beginning stage.
It takes courage to see the truth, but it is the only way because those with blindfolds still covering their eyes also suffer…
and they suffer alone.
I instead have ‘come out’ and I have unveiled my heart.
I have found my village… it is made of all the other people suffering alongside me, all the people who want to do better and see hope beyond the cruelty and ignorance… we support each other and give one another strength. I don’t know each one of them personally (we are many more than we think), but I can feel them… my village making life less lonely and once again a loving miracle.
This is a wonderful post by Ben Ralston. If you are feeling lonely and don’t know why you may find the answers and also a bit of relief. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/05/its-the-loneliness-thats-the-killer/
Remember, there is no need to be alone. The end of everyone’s loneliness is just a village away. All you have to do is go out and embrace the love.
To read more about EVI go to: http://ecovillageithaca.org/.
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We would love to hear from you: comments, ideas, stories… Where and with whom have you found your village? Just click on the heart to share your thoughts.